The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, did not applaud Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) while the Brazilian president gave his speech at the 78th General Assembly of the United Nations this Tuesday (18). Lula was applauded five times by the audience, but Zelensky remained indifferent.
Furthermore, the Ukrainian was seen several times using his cell phone and talking while the Brazilian made his statement, demonstrating total disinterest in the PT member’s words.
Zelensky’s behavior was very different when Joe Biden, President of the United States, spoke. The Ukrainian seemed interested in hearing what the American president had to say and applauded when Biden condemned Russia and said that only Putin could put an end to the war.
The relationship between Lula and Zelensky has not been friendly. Statements by the PT member that Ukraine would be as guilty of the war as Russia and the nods he made to Russian leader Vladimir Putin since taking over the Planalto Palace created friction between the Brazilian and Ukrainian governments.
Lula has even declined an invitation from Zelensky for a bilateral meeting during the G7 Summit in May in Japan, citing “agenda problems.” At this week’s General Assembly, however, the two will try to get closer. This Wednesday (20), they have an appointment to talk for the first time. As Itamaraty revealed to the press, Lula plans to “listen” to what Zelensky has to say.
In his UN speech, Zelensky condemns Russia
The president of Ukraine, for the first time, spoke in person during the UN General Assembly. In 2022 Zelensky also participated in the meeting but via video call. This year, he received applause from the audience as he walked to the podium to begin his speech.
He made a series of accusations against Moscow and said that Ukrainian children were being kidnapped and taken to Russia. “We tried to get the kids back, but time is passing. What will happen to them? These children learn to hate Ukraine. This is a genocide, when they use hatred against a nation, it always continues,” he said.
“We need to unite to defeat the aggressor and channel energy to respond to this challenge. If nuclear weapons need to be restricted, every war can be the final war, but we have to ensure that aggression will not happen again,” said Zelensky.