Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has backed the African peace initiative on Ukraine.
Speaking at the close of the Russia-Africa Forum in St Petersburg, Putin also praised China's efforts at finding a solution to the conflict.
“But in general, the initiative (African peace initiative on Ukraine, Ed.), in my opinion, can be the basis of some processes aimed at the search for peace, the same as others, such as for example, the Chinese initiative. Yes, they do not claim that their initiative contradicts or competes with others. In general, the conversation (with African leaders, Ed.) was long and substantive.
We probably talked for an hour and a half. Everyone spoke on this issue. I want to emphasize once again that it was from an absolutely friendly position that it was a real, real, real search for some ways, some opportunities to somehow defuse the situation (between Russia and Ukraine, Ed.)”, said Russia's president, Vladimir Putin.
The Russian leader also brushed away a question about why he will not be attending the BRICS forum in August in South Africa, claiming that his presence at the summit is irrelevant while making no mention of the arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court.