Zelenskyy wants to address AU leaders

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to address the African Union (AU) leaders about the raging conflict in his country.  Zelenskyy had a telephonic chat with the AU leader and Senegalese President Macky Sall.

Ukraine’s ambassador in South Africa, Liubov Abravito, says Kviv would appreciate having an audience with leaders in Africa.

Russia invaded its neighbour with a clear goal to de-militarise and target Nazism in Ukraine.

South Africa has called on the United Nations Security Council to mediate the conflict. There has been widespread condemnation after it emerged that Russia may have used chemical weapons in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Unverified reports indicated that a poisonous substance of unknown origin had been released.

Abravitova says this has yet to be confirmed as access around the city is limited.

“Though we did receive a lot of confirmation on the ground that there was use of chemicals that caused some difficulties with breathing and other effects that come with the use of chemical weapons, we would expect official confirmation.”

The Mayor of Bucha, Anatoliy Fedoruk, said morethan 400 bodies had been found in the city: 

South African National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has been appointed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union to the Task Force to mediate on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“This is a team that has been put together to mediate between Russia and Ukraine  and see how they can use their influence and this decision was taken by the assembly two weeks ago and I engaged with the presiding officer and this is huge.”

Abravitova adds that this is a welcomed move as they desperately want peace.

“I am sure you have seen the Speaker of Parliament in Ukraine recently, we invited the honourable National Assembly Speaker of South Africa to visit Ukraine and I hope that this kind of request would see dialogue and we anticipate dialogue and further shifts.”

Zelenskyy has addressed several parliaments across the world and he has shown intention to address the Africa Union leaders. He recently approached the AU Chair and Senegalese President Macky Sall, who noted the request.

“I believe the main reason for that was a request to speak in front of the AU about the situation moreover get the message about the consequences of this war particularly for African countries and generally for Africa.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has since downplayed the impact of wide-ranging sanctions imposed against Moscow since the conflict broke out.

“We don’t intend to be isolated. It is impossible to severely isolate anyone in the modern world, especially a vast country as Russia. That’s why we are going to continue to work with those of our partners who want to cooperate.”

As Russians are planning to shift the focus of the conflict to the Eastern parts of Ukraine, the ambassador says Ukrainians will defend their territory.