As Russia deNazifies Ukraine amidst African peace plan

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Africa Peace initiative

The African peace plan for the Russia project to rid Ukraine of neoNazis is a non starter for as long US, NATO and EU keep stoking the conflict.

Press review: African delegation presents peace plan

A Vedomosti news on TASS network

© Alexei Babushkin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. Seven African nations send high-level peace mission to Ukraine and Russia; Putin unveils new model for Russia’s economic development; and Blinken goes to China. These stories topped Monday’s newspaper headlines across Russia.

On June 17 in St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a mission by seven African countries to present a peace initiative for settling the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. The delegation was led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. A day earlier, Ramaphosa, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, Comorian President Azali Assoumani (current chairman of the African Union), Senegalese President Macky Sall and Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, as well as special presidential envoys Florent Ntsiba (Republic of the Congo) and Ruhakana Rugunda (Uganda), met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in Kiev.

Commenting on the meeting’s results on June 17, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that, although the African initiative could prove difficult to implement, Putin displayed an interest in hearing it out.

The African peace plan consists of ten points, which were unveiled by Ramaphosa in Kiev. They include the necessity of achieving peace through talks and diplomatic means; a cessation of military operations “as soon as possible”; a bilateral de-escalation of hostilities; respect for the sovereignty of countries and peoples in accordance with the UN Charter; security guarantees for all countries involved; Russia and Ukraine ensuring the export of grain and fertilizers under the grain deal for African countries in need; humanitarian assistance for those suffering from the conflict; prisoner swaps and repatriation of displaced persons, including children; a process for rebuilding Ukraine; and deeper involvement for Africa in the peace process.

Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Affairs magazine, has doubts that the African peace plan by itself could bring any specific results; however, it is indicative of the ambition of countries on the continent to play a role in resolving global issues.

The African peace initiative ideally could lead to dialogue and potentially a de-escalation, says Natalia Piskunova, associate professor at Moscow State University’s Department of World Politics. “The call for abandoning the armed conflict suggested by the African group also reflects the long-standing universal approach to settling conflicts under UN auspices,” she says. So far, the African peace initiative appears to be the most well-thought-through and balanced as compared to those plans previously proposed, the expert thinks.

Since the Ukrainian crisis is a logical development of worsening relations between Russia and the West, beginning back in 2011, however, any peace plan, even the most thought-out, is doomed to fail, says Dmitry Ofitserov-Belsky, a researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO RAS). The fighting will end only when Western countries, and the US in particular, are disabused of the idea that their political goals can be attained by further stoking the conflict.