As South African leaders prepare to travel to Russia and Ukraine, six officials have proposed that Ukraine agree to the commencement of peace negotiations with Russia even if Russian forces have occupied some of its territories.
Ukraine and Russia have put up their conditions before peace talks begin. Ukraine has demanded that Russian forces give back its territory, while Russia wants Ukraine to acknowledge its authority over Crimea, which it captured in 2014.
Spokesman of South African President, Vincent Magwenya, said, “First is the cessation of hostilities. Second is a framework for lasting peace.”
The officials, who initiated the peace talks which was unveiled by President Cyril Ramaphosa on May 16, is led by President Macky Sall of Senegal. Macky Sall was the African Union’s chairman in 2022 and his country abstained from voting against Russia in the United Nations. The group also includes the presidents of Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema, and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, who both abstained from voting but supported the resolution.
Early in June, the peace mission is anticipated to visit both Moscow and Kiev.
Liubov Abravitova, Ukraine’s ambassador to South Africa, in a written message, said, “My President made it very clear … (There will be) no talks between Ukraine and Russia unless Russians leave our territory within its internationally recognised borders.” She added, “We will receive all delegates and speak to them”.
The peace mission was organised in part “to secure agreements to release critical grain cargos and fertilisers for shipment to Africa,” according to a May 16 statement from the London-based Brazzaville Foundation, started by a wealthy French commodities trader.
Most vulnerable population of African nations have experienced a great setback from the high prices of food and energy as a result of war.