Dmytro Kuleba, who is in Africa for several state visits, was in Mozambique this Friday from Ethiopia. He was received behind closed doors by the Head of State, Filipe Nyusi.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in Maputo on Friday that his tour of Africa is aimed at countering a Russian investment in disinformation on the continent, where many countries remain neutral in the face of war.
“We know how much Russia invests in spreading propaganda and disinformation in Africa and we came to tell the true story” about the war in Ukraine, he told reporters after meeting Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. , Veronica Macamo.
After having called on several African countries in Ethiopia on Thursday to abandon their neutrality in the face of the conflict, Kuleba added his personal experience to the arguments presented in both meetings in Mozambique, one of the countries that has remained neutral.
Last night, “kyiv and other places were attacked again by Russian missiles and drones and my children, who are in kyiv, called me this morning in fear,” he said.
Testimony about what is happening on the ground, so that “Africans can better understand what is happening in Ukraine,” is one of the essential points in talks with African leaders, he said, along with calling for their support. the “Ten Point Peace Plan” proposed in December by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A plan that embraces “principles and interests not only of Western countries, but also of representative countries of Asia, Africa and South America,” he stressed.
Kuleba’s words have definite recipients. Russia maintains a substantial presence in various parts of Africa, has recently conducted joint military exercises with South Africa, and Moscow plans to hold an Africa-Russia summit in July.
Several African countries abstained from voting at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly that condemned the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine on February 24 last year —Mozambique was one of them, assuming neutrality and calling to the dialogue to end the war from his seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a two-year term that began in January.
As he had already said on Thursday, in Ethiopia, Kuleba returned this Friday to mention that neutrality is not a solution, showing, however, that he is sensitive to Mozambican solidarity. “Neutrality can take different forms, and today [nos encontros em Maputo] I felt strong sympathy and support, which is not neutral, it is pro-Ukraine, but I also received explanations as to why Mozambique abstained from voting, expressing neutrality,” Kuleba said in response to Lusa.
“But neutrality does not provide a better position to mediate” in the conflict, says Kuleba, considering that the roles are very different: “There is an aggressor who attacks and a victim who defends himself,” he concluded.
Dmytro Kuleba arrived in Maputo this Friday morning, after a stopover in Johannesburg, from Ethiopia. In a few hours in the Mozambican capital, the head of Ukrainian diplomacy was received behind closed doors by the Head of State, Filipe Nyusi, and later by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Verónica Macamo.
In the meetings, the two countries agreed to strengthen relations, signing bilateral agreements, opening a Ukrainian base in Mozambique and holding a business forum. Kuleba will hold other meetings in Mozambique for the rest of the day and leaves the country on Saturday to continue his African tour, which includes visits to Morocco and Rwanda.
The military offensive launched in February 2022 by Russia in Ukraine has so far caused the flight of more than 14.7 million people -6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 8.2 million to European countries-, according to the latest data from the UN, which classifies this refugee crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945).
The Russian invasion justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, has already killed 8,895 civilians and caused 15,117 injuries, also according to UN data, which underline that these figures They are way below the real ones. . .