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Lavrov on African Peace Initiative for Ukraine-Russia Conflict

May 20, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was asked to comment, at a May 18 joint press conference with visiting Ugandan Foreign Minister Abubaker Jeje Odongo, about the peace initiative for the war in Ukraine by six African nations announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on May 16, and U.S. officials’ response that the initiative would only be welcome if it adhered to President Zelenskyy’s peace plan (which demands Russia’s unconditional surrender).

Lavrov remarked:

“I think the U.S. is not ready for any constructive action on a settlement in Ukraine either now or in the foreseeable future. The U.S. has been creating this situation for many years in the context of its strategic policy on countering the objective formation of a multipolar world, preserving its hegemony and subordinating everyone to its will. It is using Ukraine as an obedient tool while pursuing this policy.”

As for the African initiative—which EIR reported in its May 18 Daily Alert—Lavrov reported that President Ramaphosa had called President Vladimir Putin and suggested the idea. “The Russian President said he was always ready to talk with all our partners that are sincerely interested in a stable situation in the world, without similar provocations and attacks on international law and human rights.”

Experts are now discussing the content and dates of the proposed meeting between representatives of the six African nations and President Putin, he reported. “The dates will be fixed on a mutually acceptable basis,” with President Ramaphosa suggesting the middle or end of June or the beginning of July,” Lavrov reported. “Naturally, we would like to understand what initiatives the South African President and his African colleagues (including President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni) would like to put forward for discussion. As I have said many times, we are open to any serious proposal from any state. I hope we will soon be able to tell you about this in more detail,” Lavrov added.

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