A kind of race appears between a Chinese and African diplomatic move towards a peaceful solution to the war in Ukraine, and an escalating European activity in supplying weapons to Ukraine, and it may take months to determine who will prevail.
Beijing confirmed that the Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs and former Chinese ambassador to Moscow, Li Hui, visited Kiev yesterday to discuss the Chinese initiative, and that he would discuss a “political settlement” to the Ukrainian conflict during a European tour that includes Poland, France, Germany and Russia.
As reported by Agence France-Presse. In February, Beijing published a 12-point document aimed at ending the war in Ukraine, and called for dialogue and respect for the sovereignty of all countries.
Director General of the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation in South Africa, Zain Dangor, confirmed that the leaders of six African countries are seeking mediation, as they intend to meet the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, adding that the details of the trip are being finalized and there are plans to visit Moscow and Kiev in early June, according to the German news agency.
Dangor points out that South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor will meet her Ukrainian counterpart in Portugal soon to discuss the African initiative, while South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in Cape Town, in a joint statement with visiting Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, that a delegation from African heads of state intend to travel to Moscow and Kiev, to present the plan as soon as possible.
Zambia, Senegal, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Egypt and South Africa will all be part of the mediation effort.
These initiatives come as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues his European tour, during which he received promises to receive new shipments of the necessary weapons. Zelensky demanded anti-aircraft missiles, offensive drones, and armored vehicles… and made progress in receiving Western fighters that Kiev demands.
While French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed that France would soon start training Ukrainian pilots, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands announced their desire to build an “international alliance” to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighters.
Yesterday, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced in Berlin that it was up to the “White House” to make a decision regarding the delivery of F-16 fighters to Kiev.
On the ground, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the losses of the Ukrainian army during the past twenty-four hours, which amounted to 735 soldiers and “mercenaries”.
In addition to the destruction of a large and equipped ammunition depot in Nikolaev. It added that the long-range precision missiles hit a large ammunition depot equipped on the territory of a ship repair company in the city of Nikolaev, according to Sputnik.
On the battle of Bakhmut, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Gana Malyar said, “In recent days, our forces have liberated about 20 square kilometers north and south of the outskirts of Bakhmut.” Russia, for its part, spoke of making gains inside Bakhmut.
And while the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, announced in a video clip on Tuesday the killing of an American volunteer working alongside Kiev forces in eastern Ukraine, he confirmed that his militants still had 1.46 square kilometers to seize the city.