Lula, on China visit, declares U.S. is promoting Ukraine conflict – Live Coverage

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stated on the third day of his state visit to China that the US should cease “encouraging war” in Ukraine and instead shift focus to promoting peace.

China is an important trading partner to Brazil, and both countries have refrained from imposing sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Follow ‘s live updates. All times are Paris time (GMT +2).

9:18am: The death toll in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk resulting from Friday’s Russian strike on an apartment block has climbed to nine, according to local authorities.

Vadim Lyakh, the head of Sloviansk’s military administration, revealed that nine people, including a woman whose body was retrieved from the rubble overnight, were killed while 21 others were injured.

Lyakh added that the identities of the five people still trapped under the debris had been determined.

Rescue efforts are ongoing to retrieve survivors from the ruins of the conventional Soviet-era housing block destroyed in the strike.

5:35am: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has urged the United States to put an end to their encouragement of war in Ukraine and instead pursue peace.

During a press briefing in Beijing, Lula stated that “The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace, the European Union needs to start talking about peace.

” He believes that by doing so, the international community will be able to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky that “peace is in the interest of the whole world”.

Lula seeks to maintain a delicate balance, as he also aims to strengthen ties with Washington.

This statement comes after his meeting with US President Joe Biden in February. Both China and Brazil hope to position themselves as mediators to achieve peace, unlike Western powers, neither has imposed sanctions against Russia after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Key events on Friday, April 14 saw at least eight individuals losing their lives and 21 suffering injuries after Russian shelling of a residential building in Sloviansk, according to the Donetsk regional governor.

Additionally, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang declared that in response to concerns from the West regarding Beijing’s potential military assistance to Russia, China will not sell weapons to either side in the Ukraine conflict.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an electronic draft bill into law, significantly easing the military mobilisation for the Ukraine offensive.

( Jowhar with AFP, AP and Reuters)

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