War in Ukraine: "If African leaders have a specific plan, they have not shared it with us"

The head of Ukrainian diplomacy spoke on June 7, 2023 about a mediation project between Russia and Ukraine led by several African heads of state. "They want to talk to us and we look forward to receiving them in Kiev," said Dmytro Kuleba, warning however that "any peace initiative must respect the territorial integrity" of his country.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaking during an interview with Reuters, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine, June 5, 2023. REUTERS - ALINA SMUTKO

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While a group of African leaders is announced for mid-June to Moscow and Kiev, as part of a peace mission, the Ukrainian government says it is open to discussion, but notes that no formal plan has been communicated to it. The head of Ukrainian diplomacy Dmytro Kuleba explained this on June 7, 2023 to the African press.

« Talking with them matters to us »


They want to talk to us and we look forward to receiving them in Kiev, he explains in comments collected by François Mazet. Talking with them is important to us. But if you want to talk about a specific plan proposed by these African leaders, if they have one, they haven't shared it with us so far."

Dmytro Kuleba warns: "Any peace initiative must respect Ukraine's territorial integrity. It cannot imply, even between the lines, any cession of Ukrainian territory to the Russian invader. Second, any peace plan cannot aim to freeze the conflict: we experienced this, we negotiated with Russia from 2014 to 2022, there were 180 consultation meetings and, in the end, Russia launched a large-scale invasion.


The Foreign Minister concludes: "If your peace initiative respects these two points, then we can sit down and see how your proposals can meet the peace formula proposed by President Volodymyr Zelensky. This applies to everyone, not just an African initiative. We care about principles.


A visit on June 16 and 17?

In a statement published on June 7, 2023, the Brazzaville Foundation, at the initiative of this visit, announces that this trip of seven African leaders will take place on June 16 in Ukraine and on June 17 in Russia: "The Brazzaville Foundation is pleased to announce that H.E. Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, will receive on Friday, June 16, 2023 in Kiev, and H.E. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, will receive the following Heads of State on Saturday, 17 June 2023 in St. Petersburg: H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa; H.E. Azali Assoumani, Chairperson of the African Union and Chairperson of the Union of the Comoros; H.E. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville); HE Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and H.E. Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia. H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt, is expected to join the other African heads of state.


>> READ ALSO: War in Ukraine: an African mission for peace soon in Kiev and Moscow

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