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African leaders go to Russia to debate their peace plan with Putin, after Ukraine journey

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KYIV, Ukraine — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday is ready to host a bunch of African leaders who traveled to Russia on a self-styled “peace mission” after their journey to Ukraine.

Seven African leaders — presidents of Comoros, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia, in addition to Egypt’s prime minister and prime envoys from the Republic of Congo and Uganda — visited Ukraine on Friday to attempt to assist finish their practically 16-month-old warfare.

The African leaders traveled to St. Petersburg Saturday to satisfy with Putin who attended a enterprise discussion board in Russia’s second-largest metropolis.

The mission to Ukraine, the primary of its variety by African leaders, comes within the wake of different peace initiatives — corresponding to one by China — and carried specific significance for Africa that depends on meals and fertilizer deliveries from Russia and Ukraine. The warfare has impeded exports from one of many world’s most necessary breadbaskets.

“This battle is affecting Africa negatively,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned at a information convention alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and 4 different African leaders after their closed-door talks on Friday.

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Ramaphosa and others acknowledged the depth of the hostilities however insisted all wars should come to an finish and emphasised their willingness to assist expedite that.

“I do consider that Ukrainians really feel that they have to battle and never hand over. The street to peace may be very onerous,” he mentioned, including that “there’s a have to convey this battle to an finish sooner quite than later.”

The delegation, together with Senegal’s President Macky Sall and Presidents Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, represented a cross-section of African views on the warfare.

South Africa, Senegal and Uganda have prevented censuring Moscow over the battle, whereas Egypt, Zambia and Comoros voted towards Russia final yr in a U.N. Basic Meeting decision condemning Moscow’s invasion.

Many African nations have lengthy had shut ties with Moscow, courting again to the Chilly Conflict when the Soviet Union supported their anti-colonial struggles.

Talking throughout Friday’s information convention, Comoros President Azali Assoumani floated the thought of a “street map” to peace, prompting questions from Zelenskyy who sought a clarification and insisted he didn’t need “any surprises” from their go to with Putin.

Probabilities for peace talks look dim as Ukraine and Russia take sharply completely different stands. Ukraine calls for that Russia withdraws its troops from all its occupied territories as a situation for peace talks. The Kremlin, in flip, needs Ukraine to acknowledge Crimea, which Moscow illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014, as a part of Russia and acknowledge different land features it has made.

China offered its personal peace proposal on the finish of February. Ukraine and its allies largely dismissed the plan, because the warring sides look no nearer to a cease-fire.

The African peace mission comes as Ukraine launches a counteroffensive to dislodge the Kremlin’s forces from occupied areas, utilizing Western-supplied superior weapons in assaults in a number of sections of greater than the 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) entrance line.


Observe AP’s protection of the warfare in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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