South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have spoken over the phone about the upcoming peace mission by six Africa leaders to Russia and Ukraine.
“President Putin has welcomed the initiative by African heads of state and expressed his desire to receive the peace mission,” a statement from the South African presidency said.
On Tuesday, the African leaders involved had held discussions “exploring ways of bringing an end to the conflict”, it added.
The other leaders in the peace bid are from the Comoros, Egypt, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia – and according to a statement from the presidency on Wednesday all said they were available to travel in mid-June.
“The leaders agreed that they would engage with both President Putin and President [Volodymyr] Zelensky on the elements for a ceasefire and a lasting peace in the region.”
Their foreign ministers were now in the process of finalising the elements of a road-map to peace, it added.
Separately a Russia-Africa summit is scheduled to take place at the end of July in St Petersburg, the presidency said.