| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

Zelensky was late: Brazil’s Lula on cancelled meet with Ukrainian counterpart

According to reports, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced on Monday that he had a scheduled meeting with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Japan. However, the meeting was canceled due to Zelenskyy’s late arrival.
At the meeting between Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that fell through, Lula said, “I had an interview, a bilateral one with Ukraine here in this room at 3:15 p.m. We waited and received the information that he was late.” The Ukrainian president “did not show up … clearly he had appointments and he couldn’t come,” Lula said adding, “I wasn’t disappointed. I was upset, because I’d like to meet him and discuss the matter” but “Zelensky is a grown-up. He knows what he’s doing.”
As per AFP, the Brazilian President was upset with the situation and also said that his Ukrainian counterpart was uninterested in negotiating peace with Russia. The Brazilian president said the same thing about Russian President Vladimir Putin that he appeared to not want peace as well. The Group of Seven leaders met in Japan where they also held bilateral meetings with Zelensky and laid emphasis on their support for Ukraine.

Zelensky’s reaction
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his reaction to the fell-through meeting with Brazil’s Lula, said that it is possible that the bilateral meeting did not happen due to scheduling issues. “I met almost everyone, all the leaders. All of them have their own schedules, that is why we couldn’t meet with the Brazilian president,” the Ukrainian president told reporters on Sunday.
In response to a media query seeking answers if the Ukrainian president is disappointed that the meeting did not happen, Zelensky in a news presser gave a roundabout answer. Instead of speaking on his own take on the fell-through meeting, Zelensky smirked, “I think it disappointed him.”

It drew a laughter from the reporters who were present at the news conference.

Non-G7 countries lend support to Zelensky
At the G7 summit, Zelensky received overwhelming support from the G7 leaders, including the US’s long-sought support for access to F-16 fighter fighters.
Additionally, he courted the non-G7 nations who were invited to the meeting, most notably getting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promise that his country will do “whatever we can” to stop the war. “I understand your pain,” Modi told Zelensky.

Brazil didn’t make any such show of support. Lula has advocated for the holding of peace negotiations and suggested that Brazil serve as a mediator with other “neutral” nations like China. However, Lula came under fire last month when he claimed that the US was “encouraging” the conflict.

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