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Ukrainian president appeals for the release of political prisoners in Crimea

African leaders met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kiev on June 16, 2023   -  
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AP/Ukrainian Presidential Press Office


A delegation of African leaders visited Ukraine on Friday. 

The group of seven leaders includes South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa and Senegal's president, Macky Sall.

Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, appealed to the African leaders to ask Russia to liberate political prisoners in Crimea.

"And if there is nothing I can do in principle to influence my colleagues' choice to go to the president of the Russian Federation (Vladimir Putin, Ed.), I would like to ask you, continuing the theme of prisoners, to simply demonstrate exactly what it seems to me, exactly what you are sure they are capable of thinking. And please ask them to release the political prisoners they have been holding since 2014. These are our Crimean people and many, many other people. Would you please ask Russia to liberate the political prisoners? It seems to me maybe this will be an important result of your mission, of your 'road map'. I honestly did not really understand -and I do not want to argue with my colleagues - what kind of 'road map' is it? Mr President just said about some 'road map', and I just want to know what type of 'road map' you are proposing?", asked the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The mission to Ukraine and Russia, the first of its kind by African leaders, comes in the wake of other peace initiatives such as one by China.

The objective is to secure the delivery of grain and fertilizer from Ukraine and Russia through the Black Sea.

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