Russia-Ukraine conflict: Ukraine President speaks to African Union chair, set to address bloc

KIEV— Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been granted leave to address the African Union as he seeks the continental bloc’s support against Russian aggression in the ongoing war.

Zelensky spoke to the AU Chairperson and Senegalese President Macky Sall on Monday with reports emerging that their conversation touched on an AU statement in February that called for an immediate ceasefire and a return to negotiations.

In the telephone conversation, Zelensky told the AU chair of Ukraine’s “struggle against invasion and heinous crimes of the Russian aggressor”, according to a tweet.

“Had a phone conversation with African Union Chairman, President Macky Sall. Noted the statement of African Union dated 24.02 on respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty & territorial integrity. Informed about our struggle against the invasion & heinous crimes of the Russian aggressor,” a tweet on Zelensky’s Twitter timeline read.

In DAKAR, Senegal President Macky Sall also confirmed the conversation via a tweet: “I thank President Zelensky for his call today. We discussed the impact of the War in Ukraine on the world economy and the need to favor dialogue for a negotiated outcome to the conflict. I also noted his request to make a communication to the AU.”

African nations have been divisive in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Senegal was among 17 African countries that abstained from a vote at the UN on a resolution demanding that Russia ends its military operations in Ukraine.