African leaders hope Putin will take steps toward peace amid Ukraine invasion — FT

African leaders are waiting for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to demonstrate his "desire for peace". At the same time, they understand Ukraine's demand that Russia should leave the occupied territories so that peace negotiations become possible, reported Financial Times.

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According to Senegalese President Macky Sall, African leaders told Putin to "show his desire to move forward [with peace]" ahead of a Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg at the end of July.

According to Sall, this demand was voiced to Putin during the six-nation peacekeeping mission to Kyiv and Moscow in June.

"Before the next Russia-Africa summit, he [Putin] must do some actions to show his desire to move forward [with peace] even in a humanitarian way," the Senegalese leader said.

According to him, further exchanges of prisoners of war and the return of kidnapped children to Ukraine "can be a very good signal."

Sall said African leaders want to use the summit to see how much progress can be made in the talks they are trying to organize between Russia and Ukraine.

Asked if Putin had shown any desire for peace, Sall said: "During this summit maybe we can have another meeting and have some progress. That’s what we hope."

The president of Senegal emphasized that Africa is facing the consequences of Russia's war against Ukraine.

"We are facing the consequences of this war. We have big problems with our food security and agriculture. We buy fertilisers from Russia and today with the sanctions, there are difficulties paying for these goods," said Sall.

He noted that this is exactly why African leaders are negotiating with Ukraine and Russia.

"That’s why we’re talking to both parties. We know it’s very complicated but we think it was positively received. Ukraine has said Russia must leave its occupied territory before they can negotiate and we understand that," he said.

On June 16, 2023, the leaders of four African states – Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa), Macky Sall (Senegal), Hakainde Hichilema (Zambia), Azali Assoumani (Union of the Comoros) came to Kyiv.

Ramaphosa brought President Zelenskyy 10 peaceful ideas from Africa regarding the war in Ukraine and heard the Ukrainian leader's position in response.

Putin told the delegation from Africa that he is waging war according to the UN charter.