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Ukraine Refuses to Freeze Conflict with Russia
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced on Wednesday that talks on resolving the conflict with Russia cannot begin with just the end of the fighting.
“If someone thinks they have to freeze the conflict and then look for ways to resolve it, they don’t get it,” Kuleba said in a briefing online addressing African journalists after a tour of the countries of the continent.
Kuleba said more than 100 rounds of consultations and attempts to reach a ceasefire since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea have resulted in a total invasion of Ukraine only in February 2022.
African Delegation’s Visit
A delegation of African heads of state is expected to visit Ukraine and Russia in the coming days in hopes of persuading them to stop the fighting, a spokesman for South African President Circil Ramaphosa told Reuters last month.
And the spokesman said on Wednesday that no date had yet been set for this visit.
The proposed freeze would mean that Russian forces would remain on Ukrainian soil even as talks begin. Ukraine has previously stipulated that Russian forces must withdraw before negotiations begin, while Moscow wants Kiev to recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea as a precondition for negotiations.
The initiative is led by Senegalese President Macky Sall, last year’s president of the African Union, whose country was not present at the vote
The latest from the United Nations, which condemned Russia last February.
The initiative is also attended by the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the presidents of Zambia, the Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. Recently, the delegation was joined by the president of the Comoros Islands, current president of the African Union.
Campaign to Mobilize Support
Kuleba campaigns to mobilize support in Africa, where 30 of 54 UN member states voted in favor of a UN resolution condemning Russia’s attack on Ukraine.