Lula received Lavrov at the Presidential Palace in Brasília. An explanation of the conversation was not subsequently published. Lavrov had previously met the Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira and talked to him about trade and energy, but also about the Ukraine war. Lavrov thanked the host country for the “clear understanding” of the origin of this conflict.

“We are interested in resolving the conflict as soon as possible,” Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Vieira on Ukraine. He is concerned with a “permanent and not immediate” solution.

At the same time, Lavrov reiterated his call for a “multipolar” world order. He accused the West of trying to “dominate the international arena”.

Lula urges an end to the Ukraine war, emphasizing US and EU co-responsibility. During a state visit to China on Saturday, the left-wing head of state accused the West of prolonging the war by supplying arms to Ukraine.

The United States must “stop promoting war and start talking about peace,” Lula said in Beijing. The European Union must also “start talking about peace”.

Like China, Brazil is presenting itself as a neutral party and a potential mediator in the conflict. Unlike its western allies, Lula’s government has not condemned Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine or imposed sanctions on Russia. Brazil rejects military support for Kiev. Lula has also called on Ukraine to give up Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

In her own words, Lula wants to initiate a “G20 of peace,” a group of countries that should work towards ending the war in Ukraine. Like the Russian government, Brazil’s head of state is of the opinion that this can only take place on the basis of a “new world order” without US hegemony.

In Washington, Lula’s comments cause irritation. “In this case, Brazil is parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda without even looking at the facts,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday, without naming Lula. Such statements on the Ukraine war are “deeply problematic”.

Kirby stressed that the United States also wanted an end to the Ukraine war. “It could happen immediately if Putin stopped attacking Ukraine and withdrew his soldiers.”

Brazilian Foreign Minister Vieira dismissed Kirby’s criticism. He doesn’t know how and why Kirby “came to this conclusion. But I don’t agree with him at all.”

Lavrov’s visit to Brazil comes three weeks after Lula’s top foreign policy adviser Celso Amorim visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. According to the Russian news agency Tass, Lavrov wants to travel from Brazil to other Latin American countries, including US opponents Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.