President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed his discussion with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, where they spoke about the peace mission by leaders from six African countries.
Ramaphosa, with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Macky Sall of Senegal, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia and Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo-Brazzaville, are expected to travel to Moscow and Kyiv soon on the peace mission.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor also said foreign ministers from these six African countries would next week go to Russia and Ukraine to prepare the groundwork for the arrival of the six heads of state.
Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky have both agreed to meet with the African leaders in their respective capitals.
Ramaphosa said the only way out of the conflict was through the negotiating table.
The president’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said on Thursday that Ramaphosa had a telephone discussion with Putin on Wednesday regarding the forthcoming trip by the African leaders.
“President Putin has welcomed the initiative by African Heads of State and expressed his desire to receive the peace mission.
“The telephone conversation with Putin followed a discussion which took place on Monday, 5 June 2023, amongst the African leaders,” said Magwenya.
Ramaphosa also had a call with Putin and Zelensky a few weeks ago on the same issues of trying to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.
Ramaphosa also discussed with Putin the forthcoming Russia-Africa summit to be held in St Petersburg at the end of July.
South Africa is set to host the BRICS summit in August, where more countries are expected to join the bloc,
The BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting in Cape Town last week had hosted 12 countries who are part of a group of nations wanting to join BRICS.