An adviser to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss opening peace negotiations with Ukraine, shortly before a visit to Brazil by Russia's foreign minister, an official in the Brazilian presidency told AFP on Monday, April 3.

Celso Amorim, head of a special advisory group to the Brazilian president, met with Putin on March 25 in the Kremlin, in a meeting that lasted for an hour and had been kept confidential.

The trip by Lula's top adviser on international affairs came less than two weeks before the Brazilian president visits China, another country that is also pushing for a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine.

Lula proposed creating a group of countries to mediate in the war in Ukraine, an issue he intends to discuss with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on April 13 in Beijing.

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The leftist wants to position Brazil as a facilitator of multinational dialogue.

"To say that the doors are open (for peace talks) would be an exaggeration, but to say that they are closed is not true either," Amorim told CNN Brasil on Monday, when asked about the outcome of the meeting with Putin.

During the conversation, bilateral issues were also discussed, such as fertilizer trade between Russia and Brazil.

In addition to the meeting with Putin, Amorim had lunch with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who will visit Brazil on April 17, the same presidential source confirmed to AFP.

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The Chinese defense ministry said in a statement on Sunday that this operation is "not targeted at any third party and has nothing to do with the current international and regional situation."

Before returning to Brazil, Amorim was in Paris, where he met with his French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron's diplomatic adviser, Emmanuel Bonne, to discuss "paths to peace."

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