(Brasilia) Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva received Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday to promote international mediation over the war in Ukraine, with Washington accusing Brazil of “echoing Russian and Chinese propaganda about the conflict.

Mr. Lavrov, who is starting a tour of Latin America in Brazil, met Lula at the Alvorada Palace, the official residence of the Brazilian head of state. This interview did not result in the publication of an official press release.

Before this meeting, the head of Russian diplomacy spoke at midday with his counterpart Mauro Vieira.

“We thank Brazil for its contribution to [the search for] a solution to this conflict,” he said at a press conference.

He said that Moscow wanted “the conflict to end as soon as possible”, but nevertheless advocated a “lasting and not immediate” solution.

Last week, Lula reiterated his intention to create a “G20 of peace”, a group of countries whose goal would be to work for an end to the conflict in Ukraine.

He also said that Washington should “stop encouraging war and start talking about peace.” And “the European Union must start talking about peace”, had launched the Brazilian president Saturday in front of journalists in Beijing.

During a stopover in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, Lula said that “Europe and the United States continue to contribute to the continuation of the war. So they have to sit around the table and say, ‘That’s enough.

These criticisms echo those made by Moscow and Beijing, which blame Western countries for the war that began in February 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ten days ago in Turkey, Lula also claimed that peace talks on Ukraine are only possible if they aim to establish a “new world order” without American domination.

On Monday, the White House sharply criticized Brazil over the conflict in Ukraine, without mentioning Lula by name.

“In this specific case, Brazil is echoing Russian and Chinese propaganda without taking the facts into account,” said John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, a body directly attached to the American president.

“Brazil’s recent comments that Ukraine should consider formally ceding Crimea as a concession for peace are simply misguided, especially for a country like Brazil that voted for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity” to the United Nations, Mr. Kirby continued.

Critics dismissed Monday by the head of Brazilian diplomacy, who defended his country’s relations with Moscow.

“I don’t know how or why (the White House National Security Council spokesman) came to that conclusion. But in no way do I agree,” Vieira told reporters in Brasilia.

“We are grateful to our Brazilian friends for the excellent understanding of the genesis of this situation” in Ukraine, commented for his part Mr. Lavrov Monday in Brasilia.

“We are united by a common desire to form a fairer polycentric world,” he added.

Lavrov’s visit to Brasilia came three weeks after the visit to Moscow by Celso Amorim, President Lula’s top adviser on international affairs, who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin.

Brazil and Russia are part of the Brics, a group of emerging countries which also includes India, China and South Africa.

Unlike several Western powers, Brazil has never imposed financial sanctions on Russia or agreed to supply ammunition to Kyiv and is trying to position itself, like China, as a mediator.

According to the Russian state agency TASS, Brazil is the first stop of a week-long tour by Mr. Lavrov of Latin America, including Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, three countries openly hostile to Washington.