Brazil’s president told Putin he would not be attending the St. Petersburg Economic Forum

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva turned down an invitation to the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg on Friday during a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I can’t visit Russia at the moment” he wrote Silva on Twitter and added that he thanked Putin for inviting him to the event scheduled for June 14-17.

According to the Kremlin’s press service, Silva presented to Putin “his vision of possible mediation activities” to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.

In response, Putin “confirmed openness to dialogue” and accused Kiev and the West of “blocking” it. Silva, for his part, said he was ready to take part in the peace negotiations “along with with India, Indonesia and China.

SPIEF 2023 organizers previously announced that many well-known Western businessmen and specialists will attend the forum, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, CEO of electric car manufacturer Lucid Motors Peter Rawlinson, and former Yandex board member Ilya Strebulaev.

However, none of them went to St. Petersburg and are not going, the Financial Times found out. Schmidt has not been invited to SPIEF and does not plan to attend, a person familiar with the situation told the FT. According to him, Strebulaev knows nothing about his participation in the forum. In March 2022, he resigned from the Yandex board of directors, where he had been an independent director since 2018.

Yudkowsky and Wolfram told the FT that they had received an invitation from SPIEF but had not responded to it. According to Rawlinson’s representative, he knows nothing about the St. Petersburg Forum and does not want to be associated with it. Gibson did not respond to a request for comment.


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