Macron off to Brazil seeking to sway Lula to take stance against Russia's war in Ukraine – Bloomberg
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Photo: EPA)

French President Emmanuel Macron is starting a visit to Brazil, during which, in particular, he will try to convince President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to side with Ukraine, reported Bloomberg with reference to unnamed French officials.

The Brazilian leader has so far tried to position his country as neutral – one that can maintain relations with both Russia and Ukraine, the journalists note.

According to Bloomberg sources, Lula da Silva, for his part, wants Macron to end his opposition to the EU's free trade agreement with the South American Mercosur bloc, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

The negotiations have been going on for more than two decades, but the discussions stopped five years ago against the background of new European environmental requirements.

The French leader hopes his differences with the Brazilian president over Russia's invasion of Ukraine can be narrowed, the officials added, even though Brazil believes "both sides share the blame for the war."

In April 2023, Lula said that "the decision about the war was made by two countries" – Russia and, in his opinion, Ukraine, and he also accused the USA and Europe of prolonging it by helping the Ukrainians.

According to him, " there is no point in discussing who is right " in Russia's war against Ukraine.

On September 11, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that if the president of Brazil does not support Ukraine, he will automatically take the side of the occupying state, "even if he does not want it."