Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has urged African countries to end their neutral stance over Russia’s invasion as he embarks on a second tour of the continent.
“By being neutral towards the Russian aggression against Ukraine, you project your neutrality to the violation of borders and mass crimes that may occur very close to you, if not happen to you,” he said during a press conference in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, where the African Union (AU) is headquartered
However, Mr Kuleba did note that Ukraine’s “relations with African countries did not receive proper attention in our foreign policy for years and we lost a lot”.
He held talks on Wednesday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki and Comoros President Azali Assoumani, who is the current AU chair.
Six African countries – led by South Africa – are leading a peace initiative between Moscow and Kyiv as the war negatively impacts grain and fertiliser supplies in the region.
While the majority of countries have consistently condemned Russia’s invasion during deliberations at the UN, abstentions by various African countries have sparked Western criticism.
Mr Kuleba’s African tour also includes visits to Morocco and Rwanda.
He made his first trip to the continent last October when he visited Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Kenya.