The Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silvaassumed today in New Delhi the G20 presidency with a call to prevent “geopolitical issues from hijacking the agenda” of the bloc, signaling its opposition to discussing the war in Ukraine.
“We can’t let you question geopolitics hijack the G20 discussion agenda,” Lula said at the closing of the two-day summit in New Delhi.
“We are not interested in a divided G20 (…) We need peace and cooperation instead of conflict,” he added, quoted by the AFP news agency.
The Brazilian president announced before his G20 peers the three priorities of the Brazilian G20 agenda: the fight against inequality and hunger, the fight against climate change and the reform of international governance institutions.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict was once again a key issue
Lula touched on the topic a day after the group of 20 large economies issued a final declaration in which avoided criticizing Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. The United States and some European countries wanted the G20 to condemn Moscow but there was no consensus, even on Russia’s presence at the summit.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, He does not participate in the meeting in New Delhi, where he was represented by his Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov. The president of China, Xi Jinping, also did not attend in person.
The G20 statement, released last night, at the end of the first of the two days of the summit, denounced the use of force to achieve territorial gains, but he avoided directly criticizing Russia for the invasion launched in February 2022. He also announced that the next G20 summit It will be in November 2024 in Rio de Janeiro.
In an interview with Firstpost, Lula assured that Putin will be invited to the Rio de Janeiro summit and that he will not be detained, despite the arrest warrant against him issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) last March for war crimes.
“I can tell you that if I am president of Brazil and if he comes to Brazil, he does not have to be detained,” Lula assured the interviewer, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi.
Russia rejected the ICC’s accusation, and denied both the deportation of minors and that its forces had participated in war crimes. Brazil is a signatory to the 1998 Rome Statute, which led to the creation of the ICC.
On the other hand, during the interview with TV India, Da Silva recalled that before the G20 summit next year there will be a meeting of leaders of the Brics in Russia.
This forum brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and in its last meeting it also included Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Iran. Putin also did not attend this summit held in South Africa, another signatory country of the Rome Statute.
“Everyone is going to the BRICS (summit), so I hope they come to the G20 summit in Brazil. In Brazil you will feel an atmosphere of peace“said Lula.
“They will feel that in Brazil we like music, carnival, football, but we also like peace, and we like to treat people well. So I think Putin can easily go to Brazil,”