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Brazilian former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s recent opinions on the Ukraine-Russia conflict and subsequent visit to Spain and Portugal were marred by controversy surrounding his stance on the war.
During his first trip to Spain and Portugal as a free man, Lula da Silva was met with much enthusiasm, particularly among those left-wing political forces with which he’s associated. Yet his upcoming public appearances in both countries have become overshadowed by his statements on the Ukraine war and his contention that the United States and European Union are to blame.
In recent weeks, Lula da Silva has accused NATO and the U.S. of “aggressive behavior” in the Ukraine conflict, claiming they have “exacerbated [the] crisis in the East European country”. He also cast doubt on the United Nations’ ability to resolve the crisis, arguing that regional powers such as Russia, Ukraine, and the EU should regulate their own matters.
Notably, the opinions voiced by Lula da Silva contrast the position of his political party, the Workers’ Party (PT, in Portuguese). Back in 2017, the Brazilian PT supported the UN’s condemnation of the annexation of Crimea by Russia and resented Moscow’s military activities surrounding Ukraine.
Lula da Silva’s successful Iberian tour could mark the beginning of his return as a leader in the international leftist political arena. However, his dubious positions on the Ukraine war could potentially cost him much-needed support from his political allies in Europe.