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Vladimir Putin says African and Chinese initiatives could be basis for peace in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has said an African and a Chinese initiative could serve as a basis for peace in Ukraine, but warned there are things that are “impossible to implement”.

The Russian president also claimed Moscow had not rejected peace talks in comments made following the conclusion of the Africa-Russia Forum in St Petersburg.

He told reporters: “The initiative, 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.

“There are provisions of this peace initiative that are being implemented… But there are things that are difficult or impossible to implement.”

Mr Putin said one of the points in the initiative was a ceasefire as he warned: “We cannot cease fire when we are under attack.”

Peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, following Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour at the end of February last year, have repeatedly failed.

Russia says it has received around 30 peace initiatives on Ukraine through official and unofficial channels, according to the country’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who was cited by Russian state news outlet TASS.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said peace talks with Russia would only be possible after Moscow withdraws its forces from occupied territory.

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Ukraine to enter Crimea ‘soon’

African initiative calls for negotiations

A 10-point African Peace Initiative was presented to Russia last month and included a call for peace through negotiations, ensuring the sovereignty of states and security guarantees to all countries.

Reuters reported the plan floats a series of possible steps to defuse the war – including a Russian troop pull-back, removal of Russian tactical nuclear weapons from Belarus, suspension of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin and sanctions relief.

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Meanwhile, China has previously touted a 12-point peace initiative which calls for a ceasefire – but does not condemn the invasion or oblige Russia to withdraw from occupied territories.

Beijing, which has close ties with Russia’s leadership, sent one of the country’s top envoys to Kyiv and Moscow in May to encourage peace talks.

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Africa-Russia relations moving ‘forward’

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While Russia has previously said it is open to peace talks with Kyiv, it insists that any talks be based on “new realities”, meaning its declared annexation of five Ukrainian provinces it fully or partly controls – a condition Kyiv will not accept.

Early next month, Saudi Arabia is set to host peace talks among Ukraine and some Western countries, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

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