Ukraine Is Changing the Approach to Its Diplomacy in Africa – Oleksandr Korniyenko

11 September 2023

Ukraine is revising the approaches to diplomacy and communication on the African continent in view of the peculiarities of their political system.

 That was stated by Oleksandr Korniyenko, Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting “The Future is Being Decided in Ukraine”, organised by YES in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

 “Most non-Western countries are not democracies. It is something hybrid, something authoritarian. African countries are governed in a completely different manner; there are various forms of governance. Therefore, our traditional communication did not work. Therefore, it is necessary to work with them, with their elites, and with their societies in a different manner," he said.

 According to Oleksandr Korniyenko, Ukraine’s position on the African continent until 2022 was vague due to the lack of systemic work with the governments there.

 “After many African countries abstained during the vote at the UN General Assembly, we began to rethink the strategy and realised that we had no communication on the African continent, we had no embassies there. For thirty years, our strategy was focused exclusively on the Western world. Now we are trying to fix it,” said the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

 Oleksandr Korniyenko emphasized that non-Western countries trust deeds more than words.

“Our conclusion as to the ways of cooperation with the non-Western world is as follows: we need very practical and very precise explanations of all our steps. President Zelenskyi's peace formula is perfect for this,” he summarised.

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Christopher Pincher
Christopher Pincher
Minister of State for Europe, United Kingdom, 16th YES Annual Meeting, 2019
«Russia’s attempt to play the strongman and imprison Ukraine in its supposed ‘sphere of influence’ harks back to a very unhappy and dark age that we all thought had been consigned to the history books.»