On Wednesday, Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, called on African nations to abandon their positions of neutrality on the conflict between his country and Russia. On Wednesday, Kuleba made his remarks in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. He stated that Ukraine was “very upset that some African countries chose to abstain,” and he urged the other African nations to provide Ukraine with diplomatic assistance “in the face of Russian aggression.”
A great number of African nations have steadfastly refused to take sides in the battle raging in Europe; as a result, several of them have chosen to remain neutral in votes at the United Nations General Assembly denouncing Russia’s invasion. Ethiopia is a prime example of this. Wagner, a Russian private military contractor, is working in numerous regions of Africa, where Russia has established a significant foothold. Most recently, Russia and South Africa participated together in joint military drills. In the month of July, Russia intends to host a conference between Africa and Russia.
Kuleba emphasized Ukraine’s desire to create better partnerships with Africa, centered on trade in energy, technology, and medicines, and he urged African nations to support the “ten-point peace formula” that was offered by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in December. Kuleba also called on African nations to adopt the “ten-point peace formula.”
Kuleba stated that he was on the African continent to “convey a message that Ukraine wants to build direct relations with African nations based on three principles: mutual respect, mutual interest, and mutual benefit.” Kuleba acknowledged that the links between Ukraine and Africa “did not receive proper attention” in the past. Africa receives grain in considerable quantities from Ukraine and Russia.
Currently, Kubela is in the middle of an African tour that takes him to several different countries, including Morocco and Rwanda. In Ethiopia, he met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, and Azali Assoumani, President of the Comoros and Current Chair of the Continent-Wide Body. During his time in Ethiopia, he participated in meetings with all three men.
In October, Kubela embarked on his very first vacation to Africa, during which he traveled to Ghana, Kenya, the Ivory Coast, and Senegal. After Russia began conducting military operations against Ukrainian infrastructure, the tour had to be cut short.
His Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, has also been active in strengthening ties with African countries since the conflict in Ukraine broke out, traveling the continent once in 2021 and making at least two visits so far this year.