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Brazil's' Lula says BRICS working to end Ukraine war, criticizes U.N.

Reuters WORLD
Published August 23,2023
President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends the plenary session during the 2023 BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa August 23, 2023. (REUTERS)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Wednesday that BRICS countries were engaged with Ukraine and Russia in efforts to end the war and he criticized the United Nations Security Council's limitations in dealing with the conflict.

Speaking at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, Lula said an increasing number of countries, among them BRICS members, were engaged in direct contact with Moscow and Kiev.

"We stand ready to join an effort that can effectively contribute to a prompt ceasefire and a just and lasting peace," he said.

"The war in Ukraine highlights the limitations of the U.N. Security Council," he added at the summit's opening plenary.

With Russia's President Vladimir Putin attending remotely, Lula reiterated his country's position of "defending sovereignty, territorial integrity" and the principles of the United Nations, which has condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"The BRICS must act as a force for understanding and cooperation. Our willingness is expressed in the contributions of China, South Africa and my own country to the efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine," Lula said.

At the summit, BRICS leaders discussed how to turn the loose club of five nations that account for a quarter of the global economy into a geopolitical force that can challenge the West's dominance in world affairs.

Putin, who faces an international arrest warrant over alleged war crimes in Ukraine, did not travel to Johannesburg to join the leaders from Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

Lula advocated a common currency to be used by BRICS countries in commercial transactions to reduce their economic vulnerabilities.

"The creation of a currency for trade and investment transactions between BRICS members increases our payment options and reduces our vulnerabilities," he told the summit plenary.