Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin have reportedly agreed to meet separately with a group of African heads of state in an effort to bring peace to Eastern Europe.
The Daily Mail reported that South African President Cyril Romaphosa has discussed details with his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts over the phone this weekend. The two European leaders agreed to play host to “an African leaders’ peace mission” in Moscow and Kyiv, which is set to include leaders of the Congo, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia, and Egypt.
The South African president said that Zelensky and Putin had given him permission to move forward with the initiative, though no details about the talks were released. The report also noted that Zelensky had previously said that he would not entertain the possibility of a peace deal until Russian forces had fully been removed from Ukrainian territory.
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres was reportedly briefed on the planned meetings that the African leaders have agreed upon, saying that he “welcomed the initiative,” per Ramaphosa.
“I agreed with both President Putin and President Zelensky to commence with preparations for engagements with the African heads of state.”
“We're hoping we will have intensive discussions.”
However, a specific timetable for when these meetings would take place is not yet known. Ramaphosa also added that the conflict in Ukraine has been “devastating,” and that various parts of Africa are “also suffering a great deal” from the fallout of the war.
The Daily Mail reported that Africa has been heavily affected by the rising prices of grain, and also by the negative impact of global trade.
The effort on the part of the African countries to bring peace to Eastern Europe will be the latest in a flurry of efforts to cease the war - none of which have been successful, thus far. It is unknown if the US has an interest in bringing peace to the area, as President Joe Biden has not yet put forth a peace plan, and he has consistently provided Ukraine with military funding and weaponry.