© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends the Independence Day ceremony in Brasilia, Brazil September 7, 2023. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/File Photo
BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will meet his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, the office of the Brazilian presidency said on Monday.
Lula has advocated the creation of a group of nations to mediate an end to the war between Russia and Ukraine, but in May he stated that both Moscow and Kyiv were to blame for the conflict, angering the United States and European states who back Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion.
Last month, the Brazilian leftist leader told reporters neither Zelenskiy nor Russian President Vladimir Putin were ready for peace.
Lula and Zelenskiy have never met, though they spoke by video call in March days after Brazil voted for a U.N. resolution that called for peace and demanded Moscow withdraw its troops.
The two men will meet at Lula’s hotel after the Brazilian leader meets U.S. President Joe Biden, two sources in the Brazilian government said on condition of anonymity.
The Ukrainian government asked for the meeting between Zelenskiy and Lula after the two men failed to meet at the G7 summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima earlier this year, allegedly due to a scheduling problem.
Ukraine’s embassy in Brasilia did not immediately comment on the planned meeting.