Lula and Xi negotiate joint declaration of support for peace in Ukraine – 07/04/2023

The governments of Brazil and China are negotiating a joint declaration, in which they will defend a negotiated and peaceful way out of the war that has lasted more than a year between Russia and Ukraine. At the Planalto Palace, the final text is still under debate and the final arrangements should only be established after the meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on April 14 in Beijing.

The declaration with all the points on the bilateral agenda was already at an advanced stage of negotiations, considering that Lula’s trip would take place a week ago. But hours before boarding, the Brazilian was forced to postpone the visit due to pneumonia. The text will bring details about more than 20 agreements that will be signed between the two countries.

UOL found out, however, that one of the most expected points in the text is the reference to the war in Ukraine. The subject is of such sensitivity that the negotiation is taking place by the Planalto Palace itself, with little involvement of the Brazilian embassy in Beijing.

The idea is that the statement mentions the need for dialogue channels to be established, allowing facilitators to seek solutions to the crisis.

Lula has been defending the creation of a kind of contact group, formed by countries that are not directly involved in the war. But the project has received a cool reception from Europe and the US.

The Chinese, on the other hand, reject any accusatory reference against Russia, which will require diplomatic juggling on the part of Brazil. A few weeks ago, at the White House, Lula signed a statement alongside Joe Biden condemning Russian aggression against Ukraine.

For former Brazilian negotiators, the Americans “got what they wanted”: a written document in which Lula condemns Moscow.

The US government has already made it clear that it would only accept a role for Brazil as an interlocutor in the dialogue process if it accepts that Russia has violated the Charter of the United Nations, that it is the only aggressor and that Ukraine is the only victim.

In the days following the meeting between Biden and Lula, the Brazilian government made gestures to both sides. The Brazilian president spoke with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, but made it clear that there is no agreement based on unilateral demands. Kiev insisted on asking Lula to support his peace project, considered unacceptable by Moscow.

Last week, it was the turn of the special advisor for International Affairs, Celso Amorim, to meet in the Kremlin with President Vladimir Putin and confirm the trip of the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, to Brazil on April 17th.

Western powers were also surprised by Brazil’s vote, at the end of March, in support of a resolution proposed by Russia in the UN Security Council. Only Brasília and Beijing followed the Kremlin’s idea of ​​creating an international investigation to examine the explosion in the gas pipeline that supplies Europe with Russian energy, the Nord Stream.

All other governments in the main body of the United Nations chose to abstain. The project was therefore not approved.

Amorim was also in France, days before Emmanuel Macron, president of France, traveled to Beijing.

The Chinese are still expected to ask for Lula’s endorsement of his peace plan for Russia. But the project is contested by the Americans, who do not accept a ceasefire while Russian troops are in Ukrainian territory.

The fear still expressed by the White House and the Europeans is that, if an exit is negotiated by China, Xi will emerge from the war as the protagonist of a peace agreement and strength on the international stage. A few weeks ago, the Chinese leader mediated and sealed an understanding between Saudis and Iranians, to the surprise of the US.

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