After Kiev…the African mediation delegation arrives in St. Petersburg to meet Putin

Petersburg International Economic Forum, Anton Kobyakov, confirmed the arrival of heads of six African countries to St. Petersburg to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, to discuss the African peace initiative on the Ukrainian crisis.

“Now the heads of 6 African countries have arrived in St. Petersburg to meet with President Vladimir Putin,” Kobyakov said at the closing press conference of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, today, Saturday, stressing the participation of more than 150 senior officials in the event.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky refused to conduct any negotiations with Russia before the latter withdraws its forces, while the Russian Foreign Ministry welcomed the peace initiatives proposed by some countries to settle the conflict with Ukraine, stressing that it contains ideas that may succeed.

The Ukrainian President’s rejection of the negotiations came during his reception of an African delegation that came to the Ukrainian capital to mediate between Kiev and Moscow, where the delegation was led by the Presidents of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.

For her part, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said today, Saturday, that the peace initiatives proposed by various countries regarding the settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict contain ideas that can succeed.

“There are interesting ideas, and they may work,” Zakharova was quoted by TASS news agency as commenting on whether there are viable ideas in the proposed peace settlement initiatives.

She added, “There are ideas that are compatible with our positions, including what is included in the Chinese initiative,” but she considered that the Ukrainian regime represented “the main problem because it obstructed” these initiatives.

On Friday, the delegation of African leaders arrived in Ukraine on a mediation mission. African leaders who visited Kiev to meet with the Ukrainian president put forward a ten-point proposal to end the nearly 16-month-old conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

On behalf of the mission, the President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, described this mission as historic, explaining that the proposal includes peace negotiations through diplomatic means, calming the situation, respecting the sovereignty of countries and peoples in accordance with the United Nations Charter, security guarantees for all countries, and ensuring the export of grain and fertilizers.

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