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BRASILIA: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday reiterated his country's criticism of Russia's invasion of Ukraine but said he has been trying to remain neutral in order to be able to broker potential peace talks.

Lula told reporters after a meeting with Finland's President Sauli Niinisto in Brasilia that he was looking to create conditions for both countries to engage in peace negotiations to "stop the war when they are ready".

"Brazil is working with other countries to achieve peace but nothing will happen until Ukraine and Russia want to," Lula said, adding that he had recently discussed the theme with other leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Brazil's Lula turns down Putin invitation to visit Russia

The Finnish president, whose country, Russia's neighbor, joined NATO in March, said he feels that every attempt to reach peace is valuable, but "at the moment that is not in sight."

Lula has pitched himself as a peace broker to end the war, which began when Russia invaded its neighbor in February 2022, but irritated Western countries earlier this year when he suggested the West had been "encouraging" war by arming Ukraine.

The leftist leader had a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, after failing to meet with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the G7 summit in Japan in May, which Lula said was due to a scheduling issue.

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