On June 17, 2023, Vladimir Putin received heads of delegations of African states in the Constantine Palace. Located outside St. Petersburg, the former capital city of Russia, the Konstantinovsky Palace was a residence of the Romanov imperial family and now hosts official events, including international ones.
The group included Chairperson of the African Union, President of the Comoros Azali Assoumani. President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, President of the South Africa Republic; Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema; Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt Mostafa Mabdouli.
Representatives of the Republic of the Congo Florent Ntsiba, and Special Envoy of the President of Uganda for Special Duties Ruhakana Rugunda.
On the Russian side, the meeting was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov.
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Seven African states have taken the initiative in the search for peace. Africa is looking for peace. The representatives try to serve as mediators in achieving peace between Russia and Ukraine within the framework of this conflict. The group, therefore, offered ten points around which to build peace.
1. The group has recognized many other proposals that have been put forward by a number of other major players in the world.
2. The second point is that the group drew attention to – the key element of the general proposal – is that this war must be ended, the conflict must be resolved through negotiations and through diplomacy. The war cannot go on forever. All wars must end at some point.
The war has a negative impact on the African continent and in addition to many other countries around the world. The continent is being affected economically: energy prices have risen, as have fertilizer and food prices, fuel prices have also risen, and these are the consequences of the ongoing war.
3. The third point is de-escalation of the conflict, a de-escalation from both sides. The escalation is not conducive to peace negotiations.
4. The fourth point, which also appeared in other proposals, is to recognize the sovereignty of countries in the understanding of the UN Charter. And understanding of the UN Charter, on the basis of internationally recognized principles. The group declared the necessity to recognize the sovereignty of countries within the meaning of the UN Charter.
5. The fifth point is that all countries need security guarantees. This issue has already been raised by all parties. All parties want certain guarantees, and the group agreed with that.
6. Point six directly affects African countries. The group called for the opening up of the movement of grains across the Black Sea so that any barriers that currently exist are removed so that grains and other commodities can reach the markets.
7. Point seven. The necessity to ensure that there is humanitarian support for those who need it, as well as for those who suffer as a result of this conflict.
8. Point eight concerns the release of prisoners of war on both sides. A related issue concerns children who have been held hostage by this conflict. These children must return to where they came from, to their homes.
9. Point nine. Wars breed destruction and therefore post-conflict reconstruction is necessary. The group supports this post-recovery efforts.
10. The tenth point is adopting certain processes that will lead to the end of this war. The group clearly expressed the idea that the African continent, the African countries present here, can play a certain role in this.
The group expressed at the meeting there should be other work, and that many meetings, many formats of interaction are needed to end the war. The African continent is represented by seven countries, and are convinced to make positive contributions to this process.
On June 16, a peacekeeping mission, which has brought together presidents of Zambia, the Comoros, Senegal and South Africa, the prime minister of Egypt, and senior officials from Republic of the Congo and Uganda, visited Kiev where they held talks with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.