South Africa’s president announced that Africa would put Putin and Zelensky at the negotiating table

African states will send a peacekeeping mission to Russia and Ukraine to present their plan to resolve the war. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky have already agreed to receive the delegation, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

He explained that, in addition to South Africa, the leaders of Zambia, Senegal, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Egypt participated in the development of the mission. “My talks with the two presidents showed that both are ready to welcome African leaders and discuss how this conflict can be ended. Whether this succeeds will depend on the discussions that are about to take place,” Ramaphosa said.

He added that UN Secretary General António Guterres and the African Union office had been briefed on the peace initiative and US and UK authorities expressed their “cautious” support. “This mission has been discussed for many months. A group of African leaders stressed that it was important for Africa, as was the war in Ukraine affects African countries, causing food and fuel prices to rise. It is also done for a great cause,” Ramaphosa said.

The Kremlin’s press service confirmed that on May 12, Putin and the South African president had a telephone conversation. The communiqué stated that the head of state supported the idea of ​​​​participating African leaders “in the discussion on the prospects of settling” the war with Ukraine, noting that “The Russian side has never refused to cooperate on the diplomatic path.”

Zelensky announced a telephone conversation with the South African president on May 13 in an evening video message. He confirmed that the leaders spoke about the formula of peace, justice, and that “our world must be united by the principles of international law.”

“Anyone who helps an aggressor with a gun will be an accomplice with all the ensuing consequences. I appealed to the president to work together with other countries of the world, all continents and Africa to implement our peace formula,” Zelensky said.

Ramaphosa said last March that his country had been asked to “play a mediating role” in resolving the conflict in Ukraine. According to him, the application was is based on South Africa’s relationship with Russia, and because the republic is a member of the BRICS – an economic bloc that includes the Russian Federation, Brazil, India and China. Who exactly made this request to him, Ramaphosa did not specify.

The US recently accused South Africa of supplying arms to Russia. The authorities of the African country promised to conduct an independent investigation.

The republic has so far abstained from voting on UN resolutions regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine, and although the country’s authorities assure the international community of its impartiality, the West considers South Africa one of Moscow’s closest allies on the African continent.


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