- Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.04.2023
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate and defend the inhabitants of the Donbass region, where people have been suffering from a blockade and regular attacks by the Kiev regime's forces since 2014.

Putin to African Delegation: Ukraine Gave Up on Negotiations Despite Arranged Peace Settlement

© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin at the meeting with the leaders of a number of African states who arrived in St. Petersburg to negotiate possible ways to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, on June 17, 2023.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the meeting with the leaders of a number of African states who arrived in St. Petersburg to negotiate possible ways to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, on June 17, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.06.2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin held negotiations with African delegates at the Konstantinovsky Palace in St. Petersburg to discuss the joint African peace initiative on Ukraine. The continent's peace mission seeks to find a lasting solution to ending the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the African delegation with a draft of the 2022 Istanbul treaty on the Ukrainian conflict settlement on Saturday, highlighting that the Kiev regime "threw it into the dustbin of history."

"Here it is! It exists!" Putin said, showing the document signed by a Ukrainian negotiatior. "And it is called accordingly - the treaty on permanent neutrality and security guarantees for Ukraine. Exactly about guarantees. Eighteen articles," the Russian leader noted.

The president likewise recalled that the document was agreed upon by the sides to the conflict in March last year. He elaborated that it specified everything in regard to the armed forces - down to the units of combat equipment and personnel. He added that the document had been initialed and signed by the Ukrainian delegation. However, as soon as Russia withdrew troops from Kiev as a sign of Moscow's "good faith," Ukraine's "Western masters" broke their promises.

"But after we withdrew the troops from Kiev, as we promised, the Kiev authorities, as their masters usually do, threw it all into the dustbin of history. Let's put it clearly. I'll try to put it in a civilized manner... They gave it up," Putin said.

During the meeting, the negotiators were sitting at a round table and all the African delegates had an opportunity to speak out, as well as get an immediate response from the Russian leader. Senegalese President Macky Sall, for his part, said that compliance with the UN Charter is a condition for a possible Moscow-Kiev dialogue. He expressed confidence that Russia, as a UN founding country, is committed to its obligations.

"The conditions [for the dialogue] have been named. One of them is compliance with the UN Charter. I am sure that Russia, which is a founding country of this organization and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is committed to the Charter," Sall said at a meeting with Putin and other African delegates on the Ukrainian peace initiative in St. Petersburg.

In this regard, the Russian president emphasized that Moscow had the right under the UN charter to recognize the Donbass republics first as independent entities and then to assist by protecting them.

"Did we have the right to recognize the independence of these territories? In full accordance with the UN Charter, we had the right to do so, because according to the relevant articles of the UN Charter, these territories had the right to declare their independence. So we had the right to recognize them. And we did it," the Russian leader said.

He also recalled that all the problems in Ukraine began after the unconstitutional armed coup d'etat in 2014, which was backed by Western sponsors.

"All the problems in Ukraine began after the state, unconstitutional, armed and bloody coup in 2014. And this coup was supported by Western sponsors. They, as a matter of fact, do not hesitate to talk about it," Putin said.

The Senegalese president also stressed that it is important to preserve the ways for dialogue in order to solve at least humanitarian problems, such as prisoners exchanges.
At the same time, Putin, speaking on this particular issue, reiterated that Russia is ready to continue the exchange of prisoners of war with Ukraine, noting the process is underway. The Russian leader said that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other partners have done a lot for the exchange.

"Regarding prisoners of war, this process is underway. Thank you for mentioning it," Putin said, adding: "We are ready to continue this process."

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, left, and Zambia's President Hakainde Hichilema attend a joint news with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Egypt's Prime Minister Mustafa Madbuly, Senegal's President Macky Sall and President of the Union of Comoros Azali Assoumani during their meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, June 16, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.06.2023
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Ramaphosa: African Leaders Told Zelensky Necessary to End Conflict Promptly

10-Point African Peace Initiative on Ukraine

According to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Africa's peace initiative to resolve the conflict in Ukraine includes ten points.

"We are looking for peace. We would like to try to mediate peace between Russia and Ukraine in this conflict. We would like to offer you ten points, because our offer is focused on ten points," Ramaphosa said.

One of the points relates to the fact that all sides in the conflict are entitled to security guarantees.
The president also underlined that the African delegates "fairly believe" that the conflict must be settled through diplomatic means. And, in this regard, he said, the mission believes in the existence of common positions between Russia and Ukraine that can end the conflict.
"The third point is that we would like to see de-escalation of the conflict. De-escalation on both sides. Because escalation is not conducive to peace negotiations. So we would be interested in de-escalation of the conflict so that we can find a way to peace."
The fourth point refers to the fact that the authors of the plan recognize the sovereignty of all sides of the conflict.
Ramaphosa pointed out that one of the points of the African peace initiative to resolve the Ukrainian conflict is also the return of children to their homes.
"Point eight [...] it concerns the release of prisoners of war from both sides. A related issue concerns children who have been taken hostage in the conflict. These children need to be returned to where they came from, to their homes," Ramaphosa said.
The sixth point refers to the "free movement of grain across the Black Sea" so that there would be no obstacles to it.
Workers load grain at a grain port in Izmail, Ukraine, on April 26, 2023. The United Nations is racing to extend a deal that has allowed for shipments of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea to parts of the world struggling with hunger. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.06.2023
Decision on Grain Deal's Extension Will Be Driven by Russia's Interests, Foreign Ministry Says

Putin: Global Food Crisis Not Result of Russia's Special Operation

Speaking about food security, the Russian president, for his part, highlighted that the crisis on the global food market is not the result of Russia's special operation, but arose due to unjustified emissions by the West.

"I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the crisis in the world food market is by no means a consequence of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine. It began long before the situation in Ukraine. And it arose as a result of the fact that Western countries, both the United States and European countries, began to engage in economically unjustified emissions in order to solve their problems related to the epidemic of coronavirus infection," he said.

Putin added that even through this emission, Western countries "swept away all the food products from the world market like a vacuum cleaner in their favor, abusing their monopolistic position and disadvantaging developing countries."
"I won't go into details, but this is, as we say, a medical fact. An obvious thing," Putin said.
Moreover, the president added that about 31.7 million tonnes of agricultural products were exported from Ukrainian ports and only 3% of this volume was sent to needy African countries, so the United States has "deceived the international community."
"Once again, these neo-colonial European, and in fact American, authorities have deceived the international community and needy African countries: 31.7 million tonnes were exported, and only three percent went to needy African countries. Isn't that a lie? Accustomed to lying to the world for centuries and continue to do so today," Putin stated.
Putin also said that 38.9%, or 13.3 million tonnes, went to EU countries. Turkiye received 11% and the rest went to other countries, he added.

Boosting Relations With Africa is Russia's Priority

Among other things, President Putin reiterated that Russia's priority is to develop relations with the countries of the African continent and boost friendly ties with the African Union.
"Multifaceted development of relations with African countries is a priority of Russian foreign policy. We advocate further strengthening of friendly relations with African nations and the African Union," Putin said at a meeting with the African delegation on the Ukrainian peace initiative in St. Petersburg.
Before the meeting, Putin personally received and greeted the African delegates at the Konstantinovsky Palace to discuss the joint African peace initiative on Ukraine.
SPIEF-2023: President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin at the plenary session. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 16.06.2023
Sanctions as 'Blessing in Disguise' to Moscow & Africa: Expert on Russia's Alleged Isolation
The list of participants included South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Senegalese leader Macky Sall, Comoros President Othman Ghazali and Zambian head of state Hakainde Hichilema. Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Ugandan and Congolese representatives are also partaking in the negotiations.