President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s commitment to seriously consider proposals put up by seven African leaders to end the conflict in Ukraine.
He said the continent has been greatly affected by the war, which has led to souring food and fuel prices.
He said peace was the only solution to the war.
This was also drawn from experiences on the continent where most of the conflicts have been settled through negotiations.
Ramaphosa, the president of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, president of Comoros Azali Assoumani, Macky Sall of Senegal and the president of Congo-Brazzaville Denis Sassou Nguesso met with Putin in St Petersburg on Friday evening.
However, Zambian leader Haikande Hichilema did not join the meeting as he did not travel to Russia for the summit.
But he was part of the previous delegation that travelled to Kyiv and St Petersburg.
These were follow-up discussions after the leaders met with Putin and Ukrainian president Voldymyr Zelensky in June.
Ramaphosa told Putin they were happy that he was considering the proposals put forward by the African leaders at their last meeting.
He said this shows that he was serious about the peace mission by the leaders from the continent.
“President Putin, we are pleased that you will be able to give us an indication of our response to a number of proposals that we put forward in the closed session. What pleases us is that you yourself have said you have been giving serious consideration to the proposals that have been put forward by the seven African countries. I draw a lot of confidence on what you have said and in the closed session you will be able to inform us,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said Putin has already responded to one of the proposals by African leaders.
This related to the grain deal. Ramaphosa said African leaders wanted the Black Sea to be open to the world market.
He acknowledged that Putin has given grain for free to some of the African countries.
But what Africa wanted was for the Black Sea to be open so that they will be able to access grain. It is believed that this would ease the question of high food prices.
He added that they maintain that the conflict should be resolved through dialogue.