Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Brazil on Monday and expressed gratitude to the South American country for its controversial efforts to mediate the Ukraine conflict.
"As for the process in Ukraine, we are grateful to our Brazilian friends for their excellent understanding of this situation's genesis. We are grateful (to them) for striving to contribute to finding ways to settle it," Lavrov said, sitting alongside his Brazilian counterpart, Mauro Vieira.
In regards to the Kremlin-backed invasion of Ukraine, Vieira told journalists that Brazil sees sanctions against Russia as causing negative impacts for the global economy. He added that Brazil supports an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine.
Lavrov also met with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has raised eyebrows in the West with his recent comments on Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Brazil cozying up with Russia, China
Brazil has not joined Western nations in imposing sanctions on Russia for its war and has refused requests to supply ammunition to Ukraine.
President Lula da Silva, on a recent trip to the United Arab Emirates, said Kyiv shares the blame for the conflict.
On Saturday, Lula met Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing where he said that "the United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace. The European Union needs to start talking about peace."
Earlier this month, he also suggested that Ukraine could give up Crimea to end the war.
US: Brazil's views are 'deeply problematic'
Brazil's stance on the Ukraine war and its allegations against the West drew sharp criticism from the US, which described the views as "deeply problematic."
Following the meeting between Lavrov and Vieira, US national security spokesman John Kirby said, "Brazil is parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda without at all looking at the facts."
"The most recent comments by Brazil that Ukraine should consider formally ceding Crimea as a peace concession is simply misguided, especially for a country like Brazil that has voted to uphold the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity (at the UN)," he said.
Brazil, however, rejected the US' comments.
"I don't know how or why he reached that conclusion but I do not agree at all," Brazil's Viera said, referring to the remarks from Kirby.
Lavrov, meanwhile, told a press conference that the West has got itself involved in "a rather tough struggle" to continue its dominance over world affairs.
mf/wd (AP, AFP)