President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Umaro Sissoco Embaló, who is in visit to Kyiv.
Welcoming the President of Guinea-Bissau in Kyiv, the Ukrainian Head of State said that the first negotiations at the highest level in the history of bilateral relations took place today.
“It is important that Mr. President became the first leader of an African state to visit Ukraine after February 24 and have the opportunity to hear the truth about the situation in our country – a situation that affects all other states of the world,” Zelensky said during communication with media representatives following negotiations with Embaló.
He said that the criminal war unleashed by Russia and the deliberately provoked crises in the food and energy markets and in international relations greatly aggravated the social and political conditions in dozens of countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, where, due to Russian aggression, millions of people found themselves in the worst circumstances in the lives of several generations.
“Therefore, the unity of all conscientious leaders and states of the world is now necessary to overcome the threats to our common security, which arose due to the fault of the Russian Federation,” the President of Ukraine is convinced.
The head of the Ukrainian state briefed Embaló on Russia’s new escalating steps.
In addition, he thanked Guinea-Bissau for supporting the rules of international law and territorial integrity of Ukraine during the UN General Assembly vote on the resolution condemning the criminal Russian attempt to annex Ukrainian territory.
The leaders also discussed in detail Ukraine’s efforts to overcome the global food crisis, in particular the export of Ukrainian food from Black Sea ports.
“I assured Mr. President that Ukraine can continue ensuring food and, therefore, social and political security in partner countries. I thank you for supporting the appropriateness of extending our export grain initiative, which is due in November. We must do everything to prevent Russia from disrupting our food exports, because this will inevitably provoke a new price hike on the food market, a new worsening of living conditions for millions of people,” the Ukrainian Head of State said.
He said that as of today, Russia is blocking 170 ships with grain for African and Asian countries.
“We discussed the possibility of creating a grain hub in the ECOWAS countries,” the President of Ukraine said.
In addition, according to him, our states have other common challenges, in particular, the Wagner PMC.
Zelensky said that Ukraine is interested in building high-quality and multifaceted relations with the countries of the African continent.
“We discussed the possibility of organizing the Ukraine-Africa summit in our country. Ukraine’s potential in agricultural production, engineering, energy, IT and other economic sectors can become the basis for a mutually beneficial partnership with the ECOWAS countries,” he said.
According to the Head of State, Ukraine has confirmed a quota for the study of students from Guinea-Bissau in higher education institutions.
Zelensky expressed his belief that economic and social growth in Africa will be one of the key drivers of global development.
For his part, the President of Guinea-Bissau said that he is visiting Ukraine not only as the leader of the state, but also as the chairman of ECOWAS, in order to convey the real position and signals to the participating countries of this association, in particular, during the summit in December.
He said that the issue of food security, export of foodstuffs and mineral fertilizers to Africa is extremely important today, and therefore the blockade of a large number of ships in the Black Sea should be lifted.
Embaló also said that he briefed Zelensky on his negotiations with the Russian leadership the day before.
The leader of Guinea-Bissau noted the importance of dialogue, which can contribute to the achievement of peace, at the sites of international organizations, in particular within the UN, and constant constructive contact at the level of the foreign ministers of the two countries.
Embaló also said that many government officials and officials of Guinea-Bissau were educated in Ukraine.
“It is another positive thing that we have quite close historical and other relations and friendship. Ukraine is a strategic partner for us,” he said.