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Lula Made It Clear In His Call With Zelensky That He’s Against Russia’s Special Operation
Everything that Lula and Zelensky discussed in their call on Thursday proves that the Brazilian leader is indisputably against Russia’s special operation, which can’t be denied by any honest observer. That said, he’s not against Russia in and of itself, nor against comprehensively expanding relations with that BRICS partner in spite of their irreconcilable differences over its proxy war with NATO in Ukraine.
The conspiracy theories that have been swirling around Brazilian social media since President Lula do Silva’s re-election claiming that he’s secretly on Moscow’s side in the Russian-NATO proxy war in Ukraine were just dealt a deathblow by none other than that newly re-elected and now three-time leader himself. According to his official website, he told his Ukrainian counterpart in their call on Thursday that “Brazil defends Ukraine’s territorial integrity” and accepted an invitation to visit Kiev.
Zelensky shed more light on the content of their discussions in his nightly address to the nation that can be read in full on his official website here. He revealed that “It was a useful conversation. We are resuming contacts between our countries at the highest level”, which implied that Lula’s predecessor Bolsonaro had quietly curtailed their ties since the start of Russia’s special operation last year and but that the incumbent decided to reverse his decision.
Most scandalously, however, the Ukrainian leader then added that “We discussed diplomatic efforts to stop Russian aggression and restore peace for our country, the region, and the world. In particular, international efforts to implement our Peace Formula.” Kiev’s so-called “peace formula” was previously rejected by the Kremlin as detached from reality for demanding Russia’s full strategic capitulation, yet Lula remains interested enough in it that he held a conversation with Zelensky about that scenario.
This disturbingly suggests that the Brazilian leader’s vague G20-like peace proposal could include a combination of the latest UN Resolution’s demands for Russia’s complete, immediate, and unconditional withdrawal as well as some of the multilateral punitive measures that are being pushed by Kiev. About that first-mentioned possible part of Lula’s plan, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told the media in response to a question earlier on Thursday that he regretted Brazil’s vote.
That high-ranking diplomat added that an abstention would have been preferred to a vote in favor of that anti-Russian resolution and clarified that his country doesn’t require mediation in the Ukrainian Conflict, but simply for others to respect its legitimate interests. Nevertheless, Ryabkov also said that his boss Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s talks that same day with his Brazilian counterpart focused on issues that bring those two together and that he thus still believed that their partnership is promising.
As for the meeting between their top diplomats, Lavrov was polite as could have been expected and chose not to make a scandal out of his Brazil’s vote in support of the latest UN Resolution, which he claimed to have understood. He also said that Moscow wants to learn more about Lula’s G20-like peace proposal, though this can be interpreted in the larger context as wanting to be kept informed of this initiative due to how concerning it appears to be as opposed to a sincere expression of support for it.
It's at this point that the reader should be made aware of my prior analyses on this sensitive subject if they aren’t already informed of them. I’ve been closely covering Lula’s foreign policy since his re-election and have recently focused a lot on his approach to the Russian-NATO proxy war in Ukraine. The first of the following four background materials links to 17 of my pieces from November until late February while the remaining three are the latest updates that I published since then:
I argued that Lula has indeed recalibrated his multipolar worldview since his imprisonment in order to more closely align it with the US, though I also clarified on three occasions here, here, and in the last of my four abovementioned hyperlinked analyses that Russian-Brazilian ties aren’t expected to suffer. These primary points of my position, which were vindicated by the latest events, are important to remember since there’s an active disinformation operation underway in Brazil that claims otherwise.
The pseudo-political cult known as the “Workers’ Cause Party” (“PCO”) is trying to recruit new members on the false pretext that they’re defending Lula from “lies” about his approach towards the Russian-NATO proxy war. They pushed the conspiracy theory that he’s secretly on Moscow’s side, which is already problematic enough as it is, but then these disinformation agents escalated matters by attacking those like me who’ve relied on objectively existing and easily verifiable facts to debunk that claim.
While some might suspect that this is driven by the egomaniacal tendencies of that cult’s leader, the reality is that it actually amounts to a form of Hybrid War, the purposes of which will now be explained. By concocting a conspiracy theory falsely alleging that Lula’s US-friendly approach towards that proxy war is secretly Russian-friendly, the “PCO” hopes to appeal to him personally and derive some sort of favors or support as a result of manipulating perceptions about his policy among his party’s base.
The Workers’ Party (PT) is comprised of folks who support multipolarity and socialism, neither of which are promoted by Lula preferring to condemn Russia’s special operation in alignment with the US as opposed to remaining neutral towards it like Brazil’s fellow BRICS partners have done. Neither he himself nor anyone prominent in his party can wage the disinformation operation about his supposedly secret intentions that the “PCO” is since that would neutralize the pro-US purpose of this policy.
That’s not to suggest that Lula or leading members of the PT are colluding with that cult in this respect, but just that its leader believes that he’s playing a crucial role in manipulating its base’s perceptions about his approach towards that proxy war in order to preemptively neutralize dissent within their ranks. In exchange, he hopes to derive some sort of favors or support from them for playing this role, absent which he might at least be able to recruit new members by poaching some from the PT.
Brazilians should be aware of this pernicious disinformation-driven Hybrid War campaign that’s being waged against them by a politically opportunistic cult in order to avoid being misled by its conspiracy theory about this issue and falling for related attacks against those who’ve debunked it with facts. Everything that Lula and Zelensky discussed in their call on Thursday proves that the Brazilian leader is indisputably against Russia’s special operation, which can’t be denied by any honest observer.
That said, he’s not against Russia in and of itself, nor against comprehensively expanding relations with that BRICS partner in spite of their irreconcilable differences over its proxy war with NATO in Ukraine. Lula’s US-friendly approach towards this conflict aligns with his recalibrated worldview in recent years, both of which he believes whether rightly or wrongly are in Brazil’s best interests. The PT’s base must be aware of these objectively existing facts when formulating their opinion about his foreign policy.