African Union chief announces imminent visit to Moscow and Kyiv | Russo-Ukrainian War

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has met with a divided response among African countries.

Senegalese President Macky Sall has said he will soon visit Russia and Ukraine on behalf of the African Union, which he currently chairs.

In a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday, Sall said the trip was due to take place on May 18, that it did not take place due to scheduling issues and that new dates had been proposed.

He added that he had received a mandate from the African Union to undertake the trip, for which Russia had issued an invitation.

“As soon as it is fixed, I will of course go to Moscow and also to Kyiv and we have also agreed to bring together all the heads of state of the African Union who want [meet] with [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy, who had expressed the need to communicate with African heads of state,” he said.

“That too will be done in the coming weeks.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has hit African economies hard due to rising grain prices and fuel shortages, has been met with a divided African response.

In early March, Senegal abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution – passed by an overwhelming majority – which called on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine. However, a few weeks later he voted in favor of another resolution asking Russia to stop the war.

Nearly half of African nations abstained or did not vote on the two UN resolutions.

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