Russia wouldn’t have promoted this former ambassador’s critical reaction to Lula’s proposal via one of its publicly financed international media flagships if it contradicted the Kremlin’s informal views towards this matter.
Newly re-elected and now three-time Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, popularly known as Lula, suggested during a recent press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that a G20-like structure be assembled for reviving the Russian-Ukrainian peace process. His most passionate supporters on social media spun this as supposed proof that his multipolar vision remains perfectly aligned with Russia’s despite evidence to the contrary, but Moscow just indirectly contradicted this.
Publicly financed TASS published the reaction of the Lugansk People’s Republic’s (LPR) former Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik, who threw cold water on Lula’s proposal. Before quoting that diplomat, whose region is now formally a part of Russia, it’s important to draw attention to the fact Moscow wouldn’t have promoted his critical reaction via one of its publicly financed international media flagships if it contradicted the Kremlin’s informal views towards this matter.
With that in mind, here’s what Miroshnik said: “Prospects for ‘Brazilian format’ talks the way Brazilian President [Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva] sees them look slim to me. The Brazilian leader can only be praised for striving to make a contribution to ending the bloodshed, but the quality of opponents in proposed talks raises questions…It is really prestigious to be a peacemaker, for the role can give you extra clout internationally, especially when there is nothing to it.”
Reading between the lines, which admittedly isn’t difficult to do since Miroshnik didn’t exactly mince his words, it’s evident that Russia believes that Lula is just trying to promote himself internationally. Anyone with even the most elementary understanding of the Ukrainian Conflict would know that a G20-like peace proposal is fated for failure since there’s no way that some of the implied parties would ever agree to anything other than Russia’s complete strategic capitulation.
Brazil’s world-class diplomats are obviously aware of this, as is Lula, especially considering the keen observer of International Relations that he is. This in turn leads to the conclusion that his intentions in proposing this doomed-to-fail G20-like structure aren’t sincere but rather completely driven by his political self-interests in promoting his return to the world stage, especially in the eyes of the US-led West’s Golden Billion that would benefit from manipulating his proposed peace process.
There’s no point in Russia wasting value diplomatic time entertaining this possibility, yet it also can’t officially dismiss it out of hand either lest it inadvertently offend its fellow BRICS partner. For that reason, Moscow arguably responded indirectly by having publicly financed TASS amplify the former LPR Ambassador to Russia’s critical reaction to Lula’s proposal, which should be interpreted as having been done with a wink and a nod from the Kremlin due to the two players involved, TASS and that diplomat.
Looking forward, Lula will probably continue pushing this proposal despite the practical impossibility of any tangible progress ever being made on it since his political interests are served by doing so exactly as Miroshnik very strongly suggested. Russia might officially pay lip service to his superficially well-intended attempt to broker peace between it and Ukraine, but its policymakers know that he’s only making a spectacle out of this in order to give himself extra clout internationally.