African Union Chief Announces Visits to Moscow, Kyiv

General

Senegalese President Macky Sall said Sunday he would travel to Russia and Ukraine soon on behalf of the African Union, whose presidency he currently holds.

The trip had been due to take place on May 18 but didn't go ahead due to scheduling issues and new dates have been put forward, Sall said at a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

He had received a mandate from the African Union to undertake the trip, for which Russia had extended an invitation, he added.

"As soon as it's set, I will go of course to Moscow and also to Kyiv and we have also accepted to get together all the heads of state of the African Union who want to with (Ukrainian) President (Volodymyr) Zelensky, who had expressed the need to communicate with the African heads of state," he said. "That too will be done in the coming weeks."

Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has hit African economies hard due to rising cereal prices and fuel shortages, has met with a divided African response.

In early March, Senegal abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution -- overwhelmingly adopted -- that called on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine.

However, a few weeks later it voted in favor of another resolution demanding Russia halt the war.

Nearly half of African nations abstained or did not vote in the two resolution votes.

Source: Voice of America