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Friday, September 22, 2023

Vladimir Putin Refutes Crucial Elements of African Peace Plan for Ukraine

The African leaders were trying to reach an agreement on a number of "confidence-building measures"

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

RUSSIA: On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave African leaders seeking to mediate in the conflict in Ukraine a number of reasons why he believed numerous of their proposals were misguided, dousing a plan that Kyiv had already largely rejected.

The African leaders were trying to reach an agreement on a number of “confidence-building measures” as Kyiv launched a counteroffensive last week to drive Russian forces from the expanses of southern and eastern Ukraine that they control.

After meeting with them on Friday in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared that peace negotiations would necessitate Moscow’s withdrawal of its forces from Ukrainian territory that it has claimed is non-negotiable.

Putin emphasised Russia’s commitment to the continent as he began Saturday’s meetings with representatives of Senegal, Egypt, Zambia, Uganda, the Congo Republic, the Comoros, and South Africa in a palace outside of St. Petersburg.

But following presentations by the presidents of Comora, Senegal, and South Africa, he intervened to question the plan’s assumptions, which are based on respect for internationally acknowledged borders, before the round of remarks could continue further.

Putin reaffirmed his position that the crisis was initiated by Ukraine and its Western supporters before Russia put its armed forces across the border in February of last year, which they deny.

He said that the West, not Russia, was to blame for the early-year steep increase in food prices that particularly hurt Africa.

He informed the delegation that the majority of the grain shipments from Black Sea ports in Ukraine that Russia had allowed over the previous year had gone to wealthier nations, noting that this meant that they were not helping Africa’s problems with high food costs. He added that despite Kiev’s efforts to scuttle negotiations, Russia had never rejected the Ukrainian position.

However, Moscow has repeatedly insisted that any settlement must take into account “new realities,” which Moscow has defined as its declared annexation of five Ukrainian provinces, four of which it only partially governs. This is unacceptable to Kiev.

Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, stated in broadcast remarks that Moscow agreed with the “main approaches” of the African plan, but Russian news agencies cited Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as stating it was “difficult to realise.”

Peskov stated that Putin had expressed interest in the plan, which South African President Cyril Ramaphosa presented with 10 points, and that Russia would keep up communication with the African nations. Lavrov stated that they hadn’t brought any message from Zelenskiy to the Russian leader.

Putin stated that Moscow was “open to constructive dialogue with anyone who wants to establish peace on the principles of fairness and acknowledgement of the legitimate interests of the parties.”

There was no immediate comment on the bilateral discussions that Ramaphosa, who will be hosting a summit in August with Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, had promised he would have with Putin.

Since the International Criminal Court accused Putin in March on war crimes charges—charges that he denies—South Africa, a member of the court, finds itself in the awkward position of having to detain him if he enters the country.

Also Read: Ukraine War: Russia Claims to Stopped a Significant Ukrainian Attack


  • Sadaf Hasan
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    Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

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