Saint Petersburg, Russia – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is currently attending the Second Russia-Africa Summit in Saint Petersburg. On the sidelines of the summit, he met with a committee of the African peace initiative on the crisis in Ukraine, which recently held meetings with Ukrainian President H.E Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to broker an end to the conflict in Ukraine.
Although President Museveni was nominated to be part of the African peace initiative on Ukraine, health complications prevented him from travelling for the peace mission. Instead, his Special Envoy and former Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, represented him during the committee’s engagements.
The committee, consisting of Presidents from South Africa, Senegal, Zambia, and Comoros Islands, and other senior officials from African governments, previously met separately with President Putin and President Zelenskyy in their respective countries. Their objective was to push for an end to the conflict in Ukraine.
During the meeting, President Museveni received a briefing on the progress made by the committee of African leaders in their peace efforts and was informed about the views and sentiments expressed by the warring factions in Ukraine.
Reaffirming his commitment to the peace initiative, President Museveni pledged to continue working with the committee to find a peaceful and amicable solution for the benefit of the people of Ukraine, Russia, the region, and the world.
Earlier in the summit, President Museveni attended the opening of the 2nd Russia-Africa economic and humanitarian forum. In his address, President Putin reiterated Russia’s dedication to enhancing trade, economic gains, and humanitarian cooperation with Africa. He expressed hope that the summit would contribute to the realization of these goals.
President Putin also addressed concerns about the food crisis caused by the conflict in Ukraine, assuring African leaders that Russia is actively working to avert shortages and price spikes of grains. He pledged support to needy states and regions through humanitarian deliveries and highlighted Russia’s readiness to replace Ukraine’s grains, either on a commercial basis or as grants, to the neediest African countries. Russia has expanded its agricultural efforts and achieved record-high yields.
Furthermore, President Putin committed to enhancing cooperation with the African continent in various areas, including education, science and technology, and agriculture. Russia aims to increase the enrolment of African students into its universities, establish Russian state media bureaus on the African continent, and set up a common information space Centre for Russia and Africa. Additionally, Russia will collaborate with Africa on mechanized agriculture to ensure food security for the continent and contribute to global food production.
The ongoing summit presents an opportunity for African and Russian leaders to foster greater ties and cooperation across multiple sectors, furthering the mutual interests of both regions.