Ukraine’s Western allies, who have been helping Kyiv defend itself from Russia’s full-scale invasion, risk escalating the war, the top foreign policy adviser to Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said.
“We don’t want a third world war. And even if we don’t have that, we don’t want a new cold war,” said Celso Amorim, a former foreign and defense minister who is now the Brazilian president’s chief adviser on international affairs, in an interview with the Financial Times released Friday.
Amorim’s remarks come as Brazil has sought to position itself as an intermediary in talks to end Russia’s war on Ukraine, with Lula’s adviser visiting both Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv in the past few weeks.
But while Lula has condemned Russia’s war, he has refused to provide military aid to Kyiv or to sanction Moscow. The Brazilian president has also made a series of controversial statements that have worried Kyiv’s Western allies.
In January, during a visit from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Lula said Kyiv and Moscow shared blame for the war, and that the trigger for Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbor was not clear.
In April, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby accused the Brazilian president of “parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda,” after Lula said the U.S. should “stop encouraging” the war in Ukraine.
Lula’s stance on the war has raised further questions about the fate of the EU’s long-stalled draft trade agreement with the Mercosur bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, which has been under negotiation for almost 25 years.
In his interview published Friday, Amorim stressed that Ukraine was not responsible for the war, but added that Russia’s security concerns should be taken into consideration.
“We cannot judge the situation by the last 1.5 years. This is a situation of decades,” Amorim said. Russia has “concerns that have to be taken into account. That is not the fault of Ukraine. Ukraine is a victim, a victim of the remnants of the cold war.”