President Hage Geingob yesterday called for Russia and Ukraine to resolve their differences by coming up with a suitable solution for all parties involved.
The Russia–Ukraine conflict has been ongoing since February 2014 following a revolution in Ukraine.
Fighting for the first eight years of the conflict also included naval incidents, cyber warfare, and heightened political tensions.
The conflict escalated in February this year with millions fleeing Ukraine for neighbouring countries amid a full-scale military operation that had disastrous consequences for food and fuel supply chains and escalated prices of commodities worldwide.
“The conflict that is going on should not be escalated, there should be a way to come to the conference centre to discuss issues and concerns of Russia so that we can have peace, we cannot go on like this,” Geingob told Russian Chargé d’Affaires Mikhail Nikitin who paid him a courtesy visit at State House yesterday.
“We are grateful to Russia, that is why we have stayed. Namibia is a small country but we are not consulted. It is only recently that I got a call from Moscow, just to brief me on what has been happening, I never got a call from anybody else.
The tension is affecting all of us, look at the food situation, so it would be good if a peaceful solution can be found and I am glad that you are ready for it.”
Nikitin delivered a letter from Russian president Vladimir Putin who invited Geingob to participate in the second Russia-Africa Summit, slated for July next year.
The first Russia-Africa Summit was held on 23 and 24 October 2019 in Sochi, Russia, co-hosted by Putin and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with 43 heads of state in attendance.
Nikitin emphasised “state sovereignty” and Russian willingness to offer aid or trade deals “without political or other conditions”.
He said that “an array of Western countries are resorting to pressure, intimidation and blackmail of sovereign African governments”, against which Russia was well suitable to aid African states to push back.
“Namibia is our good old friend and Russia is committed to working on developments in all spheres of life. We appreciate the position of many African countries that understand the root causes of conflict and are not going to be puppets in the hands of other betrayers. We have been enjoying good friendly relations with African countries,” he said.
“We have supported many African countries against colonisation. Thank you to those countries for their wise and responsible decision to abstain against politicised and biased resolutions and some issues and we understand the pressure western countries put on African countries.”
He said to understand better Russia’s decision about the special military operation is necessary to know the history of the conflict and to know what happened in Ukraine in 2014.
He said they suggested the aggrieved parties deliberate rules of coexistence in Europe but what they received in return was Ukraine’s military at their border, which created threats to their sovereignty.
“Last time (December 2021), we proposed to make a peace deal with them and find solutions, but they responded negatively. In February, they responded positively to a call from Kyiv to start negotiations. We did it during March and half of April. A solution was almost reached and everything was almost agreed but unfortunately, other instructions were received from another side,” recalled Nikitin.