UPDATE 1-Lula, Putin talk on ‘strategic’ Brazil-Russia relations

American Age Official

(Adds Kremlin statement, details, context)

SAO PAULO, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had congratulated him on his recent election win and talked of stronger relations between the two countries.

Putin said earlier this year he had “good relations” with both Lula and far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, who made an official trip to Moscow in February, just days before the start of the war in Ukraine.

Lula, who plans to visit the United States and China early in his term, has tried to highlight that Brazil is “back” on the world stage since he won an election in October.

“Putin congratulated me on my election victory and wished me a good administration and the strengthening of relations between our countries,” the leftist leader tweeted.

“Brazil is back, seeking dialogue with everyone and committed to the search for a world without hunger and with peace,” Lula added.

Brazil and Russia are both members of the BRICS group of emerging economies that also includes China, India and South Africa.

In a separate statement, the Kremlin said both men had expressed confidence that the countries’ “strategic partnership…will develop successfully, including within the BRICS framework”.

Lula also governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010, during Putin’s first stint as Russian president. (Reporting by Gabriel Araujo and Kevin Liffey; Editing by Steven Grattan and Deepa Babington)

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