African leaders talk to Putin over Ukraine crisis

The US has hit Russia with wide-ranging sanctions over what President Joe Biden called “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

Senegal’s President Macky Sall, who is the current head of the African Union (AU), has spoken to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to urge a “lasting” ceasefire in Ukraine.

He is the second African leader to reveal that he has spoken to Mr Putin – the other is Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

In a tweet, Mr Sall said: “As president of the African Union, I am delighted about my talk this morning with President Putin to press for a lasting ceasefire.

“I commend him for listening and for his willingness to maintain dialogue for a negotiated outcome to the conflict.”

Mr Sisi’s office said his talks with  Putin focused on the Ukraine crisis, and on strengthening relations between the two nations.

After Russian troops entered Ukraine on 24 February, the AU issued a statement calling for Ukraine’s territorial integrity to be respected and for international law to be upheld.

The West African regional bloc Ecowas said it condemned the invasion.

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