UPDATE 1-Brazilian Lula says he spoke to Putin about war, but declined invitation to economic forum

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SAO PAULO, May 26 (Reuters) – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Friday he had a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and reaffirmed his willingness to establish peace talks with the two warring sides in Ukraine.

Lula tweeted that he also thanked Putin for an invitation to attend an economic forum in St. Petersburg, but had to decline it because he “can’t go to Russia at the moment”.

“I reiterated the readiness of Brazil, as well as India, Indonesia and China, to speak to both parties to the conflict in pursuit of peace,” the left-wing leader added.

Lula introduced himself as a

peace broker

to end the war, which began when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. His proposal, based on Brazil’s tradition of non-intervention and neutrality, calls on a group of nations not involved in the war to engage both Russia and Ukraine in talks. (Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Steven Grattan)

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