Kenya’s Ruto meets with President of Ukraine in New York
On the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President of the Republic of Kenya William Ruto on Wednesday, September 20, 2023.
The two leaders discussed various issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, as well as the security and humanitarian situation in their respective regions.
The Support for Ukraine’s Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity
One of the main topics of the meeting was the support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression. President Zelenskyy thanked President Ruto for Kenya’s solidarity and assistance to Ukraine in its struggle for independence and democracy. He also invited him and his team to visit Ukraine at their convenience.
“Thank you for supporting our people and our country. I would like to invite you and your team to visit Ukraine at your convenience. We have many topics to discuss. Support in such a difficult time of war is important to us. We need to be strong and hear your voices of support,” President Zelenskyy said.
President Ruto expressed his admiration for Ukraine’s resilience and determination to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. He reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to uphold the principles of international law and human rights, and to support Ukraine’s efforts to restore peace and stability in its territory. He also accepted President Zelenskyy’s invitation to visit Ukraine.
The Preparation for the Ukrainian Peace Formula Meeting
Another topic of the meeting was the preparation for the next meeting on the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula at the level of advisors. The Ukrainian Peace Formula is a diplomatic initiative launched by President Zelenskyy in September 2020, which aims to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine through dialogue and negotiation with all parties involved, including Russia, Germany, France, and the representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
President Zelenskyy informed President Ruto about the progress and challenges of the Ukrainian Peace Formula, which is based on four key elements: ceasefire, withdrawal of foreign troops and illegal armed groups, restoration of Ukraine’s control over its border, and holding local elections under Ukrainian law. He also expressed his hope that the next meeting, which is scheduled for October 2023 in Berlin, Germany, would bring positive results and move closer to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
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President Ruto commended President Zelenskyy for his courage and vision to pursue a peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. He also expressed his support for the Ukrainian Peace Formula and its four elements. He urged all parties to respect the ceasefire agreement and to engage in constructive dialogue and negotiation. He also offered Kenya’s mediation and facilitation role if needed.
The Establishment of Grain Hubs in Kenya
A third topic of the meeting was the establishment of grain hubs in Kenya. The grain hubs are joint projects between Ukraine and Kenya that aim to enhance food security and agricultural development in both countries. The grain hubs involve the storage, processing, and distribution of Ukrainian grain products, such as wheat, corn, barley, and soybeans, in Kenya and other African markets.
The Presidents discussed the specific steps to establish grain hubs in Kenya, such as identifying suitable locations, securing land rights, building infrastructure, acquiring equipment, hiring personnel, ensuring quality standards, and creating market linkages. They also emphasized the importance of stable supply of Ukrainian agricultural products to the region.
President Zelenskyy informed President Ruto about the functioning of an alternative route for the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea port of Odessa, which bypasses Russia’s control over the Kerch Strait. He also said that Ukraine was working on creating other export routes through Poland, Turkey, Egypt, and Ethiopia.
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