Putin meets African peace delegation to discuss Ukraine war

By Anadolu Agency

Russian President Vladimir Putin met an African peace delegation Saturday that is looking to end the Russia-Ukraine war.

The delegation, which met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, met Putin at the Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg.

The delegation included the head of the African Union and President of Comoros Azali Assoumani, as well as the presidents of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Macky Sall of Senegal; Hakainde Hichilema from Zambia. Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbuli and heads of state of Congo and Uganda.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Policy Advisor Yuriy Ushakov were also present at the meeting. The meeting lasted more than three hours.

‘We are open to a constructive dialogue’

“We are open to a constructive dialogue with anyone who wants to establish peace, based on the principles of justice and taking into account the legitimate interests of the parties,” Putin said at the beginning of the meeting.

After listening to Ramaphosa’s 10-point peace offer, Putin said the problem started in Ukraine after the “unconstitutional, bloody state coup” supported by the West in 2014, and he claimed that the coup is the “power source” of the current administration.

Noting that Russia supports some Ukrainians, who declared they would not support the administration that came to power in the coup, due to historical and cultural ties, Putin said the Minsk Agreement was signed between the parties to resolve the problem with peace.

Stating that the Kyiv administration withdrew from the peace process by not adhering to the peace agreements, Putin said: “After that, Russia had to recognize the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, after eight years of declining to do so, which were established on the territory of Ukraine.”

Stating that their recognition of those administrations is following international law and the UN Charter, Putin said that “according to the UN Charter, these administrations can declare their independence.”

Announcing the figures on food exports from Ukraine dated June 15, Putin noted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts on the grain deal.

A total of “31.7 million tons of agricultural products were exported from Ukrainian ports with the help of Russia and Turkey — 976,000 tons of agricultural products were sent to African countries in need — Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Ethiopia,” he said.

“The neo-colonial European administration, or more precisely the American administration, deceived the international community and African countries in need,” he said.

Emphasizing that Russia has “never refused negotiations,” Putin said last March, with the help of Erdogan, delegations from Russia and Ukraine held talks in Türkiye.