The fighting must end, South Africa’s president told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday while traveling in Russia as part of a team promoting peace between Kiev and Moscow.
A day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ruled out negotiations with Moscow, his delegation presented a set of principles that the Kremlin judged “very difficult to implement”.
The delegation represented a continent that has suffered greatly as a result of the Ukraine conflict, especially with regard to increased grain prices.
“This war must be settled… through negotiations and through diplomatic means,” South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa said after talks in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg.
Russian authorities have effectively banned the word “war” to describe their military operation in Ukraine.
Ramaphosa added that his delegation, which has leaders and senior officials from seven African countries, “would like this war to be ended”.
Ramaphosa outlined ten principles, among them de-escalation, acknowledgment of national sovereignty, security guarantees for all nations, unhindered grain exports through the Black Sea, and returning children and prisoners of war to their home nations.
The presidents of South Africa, Senegal, the Comoros, and Zambia, as well as the top representatives from Uganda, Egypt, and Congo-Brazzaville, participated in the expedition.