Foreign Policy magazine reports that under Lula and his former foreign minister, Celso Amorim, Brazil is pursuing a more active international role. Amorim met with Putin to discuss the Ukraine war. FP reported:

Rhetoric is one thing. Brazil went a step further last week when Lula’s top foreign affairs advisor, Celso Amorim, flew to Moscow and met personally with Russian President Vladimir Putin to pitch him on peace talks. The men sat at opposite ends of Putin’s infamous long oval table for foreign dignitaries.

Amorim spoke to CNN Brasil after the talks but offered only a cryptic takeaway: “Saying that the doors to [negotiation] are open would be an exaggeration,” he said. “But saying that they are totally closed is not true either.”

Amorim’s travels also included a stop in Paris, where he met with policymakers ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron’s trip to China. Unlike most EU leaders, Macron has continued to talk with Putin during the war, and in Beijing, he emphatically urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to push for peace talks.

Amorim acknowledged to CNN Brasil that both parties in the war preferred to keep fighting rather than strike a truce now, especially with Ukraine gearing up for a spring offensive against Russia.

Still, [Rubins] Barbosa added, Amorim’s trip showed one thing: “Russia values its relationship with Brazil. Celso [Amorim] was not supposed to be able to get a meeting with Putin. Celso is an advisor, and Putin is the president of a nuclear power.” The two countries have cooperated for years through the BRICS grouping, which also includes India, China, and South Africa. Lula has spoken positively of BRICS even as he aims to maintain good relations with Europe and the United States.

I worked with Amorim in his first foreign policy job as the foreign ministry advisor to the Science Ministry. According to Wikipedia:

Amorim has a long history of government service, beginning in 1987 when he was appointed Secretary for International Affairs for the Ministry of Science and Technology. He served in that position until 1989, when he was selected to be the Director-General for Cultural Affairs in the Ministry of External Relations.