President Kagame hints at possible solution to end Russia-Ukraine war

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 17 July 2023 at 09:25

President Paul Kagame has stressed the need for peaceful negotiations to end the war between Russia and Ukraine that has been going on for more than one year.

The Head of State made the revelation on Sunday as he received his counterpart of Hungary, Katalin Novák who is on a visit to Rwanda.

Hungary is among countries neighboring Ukraine and hosts over 2 million refugees from the country.

Speaking to members of the press after discussions with Hungarian President Katalin Novák, Kagame was asked to comment on the contribution of Rwanda and Africa in ending the war that has occasioned devastating consequences.

The Head of State said that Rwanda’s possible contribution is little but highlighted that the country can intervene through peaceful dialogues because the war cannot totally solve the problem.

“For us , what we can contribute to is the debate of moving towards peace because there is instability, war in that part of the region but which doesn’t stop an end in that region. It spreads across the world to the extent that it reaches here in Rwanda as it reaches the whole African continent,” he said.

“Now for me, we can contribute to the debate but there is little else we can really do as Rwanda. Since it is just giving an idea towards that, we can always say irrespective of the cause and who is right here, who is wrong there, at the end of the day when the war is up and running there are more wrongs than rights. When you move towards peace and get it then, you start moving towards more rights than wrongs,” added Kagame.

The president highlighted that winning a battle with the means of weapons doesn’t itself guarantee a durable solution.

The United States and European countries continue to supply weapons to Ukraine during the war with Russia.

President Kagame has stated that looking at peace as the end goal should be the main focus instead of keeping powering arms and ammunition, not who defeats the other.

“To keep fighting , powering arms and ammunition of all types in the situation and hoping that one side defeats that other, may take too long first of all, and the damage trail of that is already too costly. So you can imagine what it will look like if you can go for another two or three years. That is why there is a compelling need for those who have power, those involved in the war to really think about what is this give and take process they can be involved in to bring settlement. Inevitably, everyone will have something to give and everyone will have something to gain from that,” he noted.

It has been over 500 days since the Russia-Ukraine war began, inflicting significant devastation on Ukraine. The conflict has resulted in the loss of lives among both soldiers and civilians, while also leaving a trail of destruction across the nation’s infrastructure.

As of March this year, the World Bank reported that Ukraine had suffered approximately US$135 billion in damages to its infrastructure, underscoring the extensive scope of the destruction. To recover and rebuild the damaged infrastructure, Ukraine requires a staggering sum of over US$400 billion.

Besides, the war has had a profound impact on other parts of the world, given that both Russia and Ukraine were among major exporters of essential commodities such as grains and cooking oil. The disruption in these exports has had ripple effects on global markets and supply chains, influencing the availability and prices of these commodities in various regions.

President Paul Kagame has stressed the need for peaceful negotiations to end the war between Russia and Ukraine.