African delegation visited Kyiv yesterday and had a meeting with Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky.
During the meeting, Zelensky said that negotiations to end the conflict will require Moscow to withdraw its forces from Ukraine’s territories they currently occupy. Putin began his Saturday talks with representatives of Senegal, Egypt, Zambia, Uganda, Congo Republic, Comoros, and South Africa near Saint Petersburg by emphasizing Russia’s commitment to these African countries.
However, after presentations from the presidents were complete, he formulated his own list of reasons why the plan was misguided. Putin said that it was Ukraine and its Western Allies who started the conflict long before Russia sent its forces over the border in February last year a claim which has been denied by Kyiv. He also blamed them for a sharp rise in global food prices that has had a detrimental effect on Africa.
And he asserted that Russia has never refused talks with the Ukrainian side something which he believes Kyiv has blocked. Putin previously said that Russia was open to “constructive dialogue” with anyone who wants to bring about peace based on fairness and recognition of the legitimate interests of both parties.