Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged African countries to stop being neutral in the ongoing conflict with Russia and clearly take sides.
Ukraine’s foreign minister admits: “Kiev’s relations with African states have not received due attention in our foreign policy for years: we have lost a lot”.
“By being neutral towards Russian aggression against Ukraine, you project your neutrality onto border violations and mass crimes that may occur very close to you, if not happen to you,” the minister said in a statement. a press conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as part of his visit.
Kuleba admitted that “Ukraine’s relations with African countries have not received proper attention in our foreign policy for years and we have lost a lot”, before holding separate talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the chairman of the Commission of the African Union Moussa Faki and the president of the Comoros Azali Assoumani, interim president of the African Union.
Kuleba’s tour, which will also see him in Morocco and Rwanda, follows his first trip to Africa in October, when he visited Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Kenya.
Six African countries, led by South Africa, recently announced a peace initiative between Moscow and Kiev to prevent further negative impact of the war on grain supplies and fertilizers in the region.
“I presented (in Moscow and Kiev) the initiative on behalf of the African heads of state of Zambia, Senegal, Congo, Uganda, Egypt and South Africa,” Ramaphosa said, adding that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is informed and welcomed the African initiative,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The South African president had denounced “extraordinary pressure” on his country to abandon its position of non-alignment on the war in Ukraine, reiterating however that South Africa will not take sides in what he called “a de facto match between Russia and the West”.