President Yoweri Museveni has called for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine to end the ongoing conflict.
Speaking on zoom to the former President of Russia and current Chairman of the United Russian Party, Dmitry Medvedev, Museveni said the only viable option out of the war was for the two parties to sit down and talk.
“We think the best way is to negotiate. This is the best way and everybody who wants peace in the world should support this so that this fighting stops and you get balanced peace that ensures safety for all,” he said.
Museveni said Uganda abstained and took a neutral position when the Russian, Ukraine issue came up for discussion at the United Nations.
“We said no, let us take a balanced position because we know all issues involved, there is nothing new, there is nothing we don’t know,” he said.
For his part, Medvedev said the relationship between the two countries is very dynamic.
He said that the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union Communist Party have always paid great focus to African countries and supported anti-colonial struggles.
“We aim to develop and support sovereign policies, supporting positive bilateral relations with all our friendly countries on the African continent and especially Uganda. I would like you to know that we greatly appreciate our interaction in International Institutions where we are participants, first of all, this is the United Nations, and also we value your well-balanced position on International agenda issues,” he said.
On the conflict, Medvedev said that they are prepared for peaceful negotiations.“They have to be independent fully-fledged negotiations considering all the realities including territorial. This is the situation,” he said.
In reference to the African continent and food security, Medvedev called for discussions at the government platforms.
“Certainly, we are all concerned with the situation developing in the food sector. The last part of 7 years saw a dramatic rise in pricing, poor harvests, and systematic mistakes that led to less foodstuff in the market and growing prices. This was also exacerbated by the poor food reserves,” he said.
He added that the conflict coupled with the overall situation in the world including food security and safety, the COVID-19 pandemic among others are posing a threat to humanity globally.
Museveni who also expressed Uganda’s gratitude to the former Soviet Union for the support rendered to Africa during the anti-colonial endeavors in the 1960s and for facilitating Uganda’s nation-building processes through trade, agriculture, industry, and security support said they are willing to continue working closely with Russia.
“We are ready to cooperate in vaccine development and other scientific co-operation. We are very much interested and we are already co-operating with Russia in many areas,” he said. Museveni said Uganda is ready to cooperate with Russia in many areas including vaccine development through scientific cooperation.
“We worked with them because they had an anti-colonial position and now, we are very happy to work with your party. I want you to know that we the African Freedom Fighters, are forever grateful to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Russia,” he said.
Museveni gave an in-depth history of Uganda’s relationship with Russia since 1917 saying the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was supporting Africa in the anti-colonial struggle and was the only force outside them.
“During the Second World War, the Soviet Union did most of the fighting against Hitler. By 1943, during the battle of Kursik, more than 200 divisions of the Germans were facing the Soviet Union while 10 divisions were in the West. So, the defeat of fascism was done by the Soviet Union and the whole world community is grateful to the Soviet Union for that,” he said.
The meeting was also attended by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Uganda, Vladlen Semivolos, NRM Party Secretary-General Richard Todwong, Principle Private Secretary to the President Kenneth Omona, and Arsenii Golomido, the Head of Consular Section at the Russian Embassy.