African Leaders Make Passionate Plea for Peace to Putin Amidst Ukraine Conflict

African leaders conveyed a strong and united message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging him to take concrete steps towards resolving the ongoing Ukraine conflict and renewing a vital deal for African nations regarding the safe wartime export of Ukrainian grain. During a summit held in St. Petersburg, the leaders emphasized their concerns over the consequences of the war, particularly the impact on rising food prices, which has become a significant challenge for their nations.

A Call for Justice and Reason

African Union Commission Chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, delivered a resolute call to President Putin and other African leaders, stressing that the war must come to an end based on principles of justice and reason. Faki Mahamat emphasized the immediate need to put an end to disruptions in energy and grain supplies, highlighting the importance of extending the grain deal for the benefit of all nations worldwide, with a particular focus on African countries.

The African Plan for Peace

Earlier, Reuters reported on an African plan outlining potential steps to de-escalate the conflict. These measures include urging Russia to withdraw troops, removing Russian tactical nuclear weapons from Belarus, suspending an International Criminal Court arrest warrant against Putin, and providing sanctions relief. While this plan initially received a cool response from President Putin, African leaders persisted in advocating its significance during the summit.

Urgent Pleas from African Leaders

Congo Republic President Denis Sassou Nguesso expressed his belief that the African initiative “deserves the closest attention,” urgently calling for peace. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa asserted that African nations have the right to call for peace since the ongoing conflict also negatively affects them.

Putin’s Defense and Accusations

In response to the stream of calls for peace, President Putin defended Russia’s position, reiterating that Ukraine and the West, not Russia, were responsible for the conflict. He accused the West of supporting a “coup” in Kyiv in 2014 and attempting to draw Ukraine into the U.S.-led NATO military alliance while undermining Russian statehood. Putin placed the responsibility for resuming negotiations on Kyiv, stating that they have been uncooperative since Russia claimed control over four Ukrainian regions.

The Importance of Acknowledging ‘New Realities’

Russia has emphasized its openness to talks but stressed the necessity of considering the “new realities” on the ground. African Union Chair Azali Assoumani acknowledged President Putin’s readiness for dialogue and called for efforts to convince the other side to engage in peaceful discussions.

Egypt’s Plea for Reviving the Grain Deal

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Russia to revive the Black Sea grain deal, which had previously allowed Ukraine to export grain from its seaports despite the conflict. Egypt, a significant buyer of grain via the Black Sea route, emphasized the urgency of reaching an agreement to renew the deal.

Accusations of Using Food as a Weapon

Russia’s withdrawal from the grain deal and its actions in Ukrainian ports and grain depots have led to accusations from Ukraine and the West of using food as a weapon of war. This has significantly impacted global wheat prices.

The Summit’s Broader Goals

Putin sought to strengthen Russia’s ties with Africa during the summit and garner support in countering perceived U.S. hegemony and Western neo-colonialism. Many leaders praised Russia for its support during their liberation struggles, and the final declaration committed Russia to help seek compensation for the damage caused by colonial rule.


African leaders’ forceful plea for peace and the renewal of the grain deal sent a strong message to President Putin and the international community. The urgent call for justice and reason underscores the severe repercussions of the Ukraine conflict, particularly the rising food prices affecting African nations. As the summit aims to energize Russia’s relations with Africa, the focus on resolving the Ukraine conflict and restoring the grain deal remains a pressing priority for the well-being and stability of nations across the continent.

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