(Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday gave African leaders hunting for to mediate within the battle in Ukraine a list of the the clarification why he believed a quantity of their proposals had been faulty, pouring chilly water on a concept already largely brushed off by Kyiv.
The African leaders had been hunting for agreement on a series of “confidence constructing measures”, even as Kyiv closing week began a counteroffensive to beat relief Russian forces from the swathes of southern and jap Ukraine that they accept as true with.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy acknowledged after meeting them in Kyiv on Friday that peace talks would require Moscow to withdraw its forces from occupied Ukrainian territory, something Russia has acknowledged just isn’t negotiable.
Putin opened Saturday’s talks with representatives of Senegal, Egypt, Zambia, Uganda, Congo Republic, Comoros and South Africa in a palace come St Petersburg by stressing Russia’s commitment to the continent.
But after shows from the Comoran, Senegalese and South African presidents, he stepped in to express the assumptions of the concept – predicated on acceptance of internationally recognised borders – earlier than the round of statements could well lope any longer.
Putin reiterated his position that Ukraine and its Western allies had started the battle prolonged earlier than Russia sent its navy over the border in February closing year, something they yell.
He acknowledged the West, not Russia, became to blame for a spicy upward thrust in global food costs early closing year that has hit Africa seriously arduous.
He told the delegation that Ukrainian grain exports from Sad Sea ports that Russia has accredited for the past year had been doing nothing to alleviate Africa’s difficulties with excessive food costs on legend of they had largely long past to effectively off countries.
And he acknowledged Russia had never refused talks with the Ukrainian side, which had been blocked by Kyiv. Moscow has, alternatively, over and over acknowledged any peace must enable for “new realities”, which manner its declared annexation of 5 Ukrainian provinces, four of which it easiest partly controls – a red line for Kyiv.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov acknowledged in televised remarks that Moscow shared the “main approaches” of the African concept, nonetheless Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov became quoted by Russian news businesses as asserting it became “subtle to plot discontinuance”.
Peskov acknowledged Putin had shown interest within the concept, whose 10 parts South African President Cyril Ramaphosa specified by his presentation, and Russia would continue dialogue with the African countries.
Lavrov acknowledged they had not brought the Russian leader any message from Zelenskiy.
Putin acknowledged Moscow became “commence to positive dialogue with anyone who needs to place peace on the foundations of fairness and acknowledgement of the legitimate pursuits of the parties”.
There became no rapid phrase on the bilateral talks that Ramaphosa, host of a summit in August featuring Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, had acknowledged he would possess with Putin.
Since the International Criminal Courtroom indicted Putin in March on battle crimes costs – which he rejects – South Africa, as a member of the court docket, finds itself within the awkward position of being obliged to arrest him if he sets foot there.