Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his willingness to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine, but claims that Ukraine, along with its backers in the US and NATO, refuse to engage in negotiations. Speaking at the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg, Putin emphasized the importance of resolving differences at the negotiating table. However, he lamented that Ukraine has rejected talks and officially announced its refusal to negotiate.
Putin asserted that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine stemmed from the creation of threats to Russia’s security by the US and NATO. While Washington and its allies reject negotiations on the issue of equal security for all sides, including Russia, Putin reiterated Russia’s readiness for talks. He acknowledged that negotiations cannot be forced upon Ukraine, and emphasized the importance of dialogue from the international community to persuade Ukraine to engage in negotiations.
During the Russia-Africa Summit, Putin expressed gratitude to African leaders for their efforts in finding a peaceful solution to the Ukraine conflict. In June, a delegation of senior African leaders and officials, including presidents from South Africa, Senegal, and Zambia, visited St. Petersburg and Kiev to propose a ten-point peace initiative to Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The African plan includes proposals for security guarantees, free movement of grain through the Black Sea, release of prisoners, and the prompt start of peace negotiations.
Comoros President Azali Assoumani, who serves as chairman of the African Union (AU), spoke about the peace delegation’s efforts in an interview with RIA Novosti. Assoumani revealed that they have not received any convincing confirmation of Zelensky’s interest in engaging in negotiations with Russia. Zelensky has reasserted his position that talks with Moscow can only begin after the withdrawal of Russian forces from all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea.
Russia has rejected these demands as unrealistic, citing them as evidence of Ukraine’s unwillingness to resolve the conflict through diplomatic means. Moscow argues that it has no choice but to continue working towards its goals in Ukraine through military means.
In conclusion, President Putin stresses the importance of diplomatic negotiations to solve the Ukraine crisis. He expressed frustration at the refusal of Ukraine, along with its backers in the US and NATO, to engage in talks. Putin has reiterated Russia’s readiness for negotiations, while emphasizing the need for dialogue from the international community to persuade Ukraine to participate. The efforts of African leaders in proposing a peace initiative have been acknowledged and appreciated by Russia. However, the lack of confirmation from Ukrainian President Zelensky regarding his interest in negotiations remains a hurdle. Russia firmly believes that Ukraine’s demands are unrealistic and indicative of its unwillingness to seek a peaceful resolution.