Wednesday, 17 August, 2022
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Not just Putin, Zelenskyy, US, Europe all responsible for Ukraine war, says Brazil’s Lula

Also critical of Biden's role, Lula said the US President should have participated more, taken a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin.

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New Delhi: Brazilian presidential frontrunner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, popularly known as Lula, has said the US and EU are also guilty for the war in Ukraine, along with aggressor Vladimir Putin.

“What was the reason for the Ukraine invasion? NATO? Then the US and Europe should have said: Ukraine won’t join NATO’. That would have solved the problem,” the leftist said in an interview to TIME magazine.

He added: “The other issue was Ukraine joining the EU. The Europeans could have said: ‘No, now is not the moment for Ukraine to join the EU, we’ll wait’. They didn’t have to encourage the confrontation.”

When told that Europe might have tried to speak to Russia, Lula replied: “No, they didn’t. The conversations were very few. If you want peace, you have to have patience. They could have sat at a negotiating table for 10, 15, 20 days, a whole month, trying to find a solution. I think dialogue only works when it is taken seriously.”

The veteran politician, whose remarks are at odds with the West’s view of the war, felt that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was equally responsible alongside Russian head Vladimir Putin.

Lula said: “And now, sometimes I sit and watch the President of Ukrainespeaking on television, being applauded, getting a standing ovation by all the [European] parliamentarians. This guy is as responsible as Putin for the war. Because in the war, there’s not just one person guilty.”

Pressed about whether Zelenskyy should have spoken to Putin more, “even with 100,000 troops at his border”, Lula said: “I don’t know the President of Ukraine. But his behavior is a bit weird. It seems like he’s part of the spectacle. He is on television morning, noon, and night. He is in the U.K. parliament, the German parliament, the French parliament, the Italian parliament, as if he were waging a political campaign. He should be at the negotiating table.”

Lula alluded to Zelenskyy’s past career as a comedian and said: “Ok, you were a nice comedian. But let us not make war for you to show up on TV. And we should say to Putin: ‘You have a lot of weapons, but you don’t need to use them on Ukraine. Let’s talk!”

The presidential hopeful was also critical of American President Joe Biden. He said Biden had not taken the right decision on the war between Russia and Ukraine. “The US has a lot of political clout. And Biden could have avoided (the war), not incited it. He could have talked more, participated more. Biden could have taken a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin. This is the kind of attitude you expect from a leader. To intervene so that things don’t go off the rails. I don’t think he did that.”

After a court last year annulled corruption convictions against him, Lula is back in the presidential race and hopes to defeat far-right head Jair Bolsonaro in the October elections.


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