South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have agreed to host a delegation of African leaders to discuss a potential peace plan for the conflict in Ukraine.
“My discussions with the two leaders demonstrated that they are both ready to receive the African leaders and to have discussion on how this conflict can be brought to an end,” Ramaphosa said, according to DW. “Whether that will succeed or not is going to depend on the discussions that will be held.”
On top of Ramaphosa, the leaders of Senegal, Uganda, Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, and Zambia also support the plan. Ramaphosa did not give a timeline on when the visits to Moscow and Kyiv might happen.
The news of the African-led peace push comes as China has dispatched a senior envoy to visit Ukraine, Russia, and other countries in the region in an effort to foster dialogue. Li Hui, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, was expected to arrive in Ukraine on Tuesday.
The US has not been happy with South Africa’s neutrality in the Ukraine conflict and recently accused Pretoria of aiding Russia. The US ambassador to South Africa claimed without evidence that a Russian ship that recently docked in the country was loaded with arms.
According to Ramaphosa, the US and Britain have expressed “cautious” support for the African-led peace push. The New York Times reported last week that US officials are “wary of any calls for an immediate ceasefire or peace talks.”