By George Kalisa & Agencies
African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat said on Friday that Africa has reiterated its position for the need of a political solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Mahamat said that as a Continent they are pushing for dialogue and compromise in the pursuit of global peace and meeting underlined the historical, strong fraternal relations between Russia and Africa.
“We held wide-ranging discussions with President #Putin alongside President @Macky_Sall to reiterate the @_AfricanUnion‘s position for the need of a political solution to the conflict between #Russia & #Ukraine and its grave human, economic costs to the Region and the world,” said Moussa Faki through a tweet.
“We further underscored the historical, strong fraternal relations between #Russia & Africa and expressed the Continent’s fervent wish for compromise and dialogue to allow a negotiated settlement in the interests of global peace and stability,” added Faki.
Also, Faki said that Africa calls for the suspension of sanctions, saying they were hampering efforts to economic recovery from economic effects caused by the COVID pandemic in the Continent and entire globe.
“We appealed for the suspension of sanctions against cereals & other key commodities, the need for their safe sea passage to mitigate the devastating economic &socio-economic effects of a growing food & energy crisis, further hampering global recovery from the #COVID19 pandemic,” he said.
Senegalese President Macky Sall said through his official Twitter handle that President Russian President Vladimir Putin who is meeting African Union leaders while meeting African leaders on Friday expressed his readiness to facilitate the export of Ukrainian wheat cereals.
“Russia is ready to ensure the export of its wheat and fertilizer. I call on all partners to lift sanctions on wheat and fertilizer,” said President Sall.
African leaders’ meeting with President Putin came on the back of devastating food shortages and growing crisis that have sparked dramatic rise of prices of cereals, cooking oil, fertilizers and fuel. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine happened on February24, Africa has been gripped with soaring prices of food. Ukraine is one of the leading producer and exporter of grains globally.
Russia’s army has successfully seized much of Ukraine’s southern coastline in the course of its 100-day war and its warships control access to the country’s Black Sea ports. However, Russia continues to blame Ukraine and the West for the resulting halt in Ukrainian grain exports.