Lula ‘upset’ as Meeting Zelenskyy Not Realized

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a news conference in Hiroshima on Monday.

HIROSHIMA (AFP-Jiji) — Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday he was “upset” he and Volodymyr Zelenskyy did not meet at the G7 summit, adding his Ukrainian counterpart seemed uninterested in negotiating peace with Russia.

Zelenskyy, who emerged from the summit in Hiroshima with fresh diplomatic support and pledges of more military aid, had sought a one-on-one meeting with Lula, who has faced accusations of being soft on Russia over its invasion.

Both leaders said scheduling conflicts had prevented them from meeting — which Zelenskyy quipped had likely left his Brazilian counterpart “disappointed.”

“I wasn’t disappointed. I was upset, because I’d like to meet him and discuss the matter,” Lula told a news conference before heading home from Japan.

But “Zelenskyy is a grown-up. He knows what he’s doing,” he added.

Lula said his team had scheduled a meeting with Zelenskyy for Sunday afternoon. But the Ukrainian leader ran late, and his own agenda was full after that, he said.

Zelenskyy got resounding support from G7 leaders at the summit, including long-sought U.S. backing for access to F-16 fighter jets.