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Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke Friday at a summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, bringing together Russia and its African allies.

Putin, speaking during a plenary session at the Russia Africa Summit, acknowledged proposed peace plans put forward by African national governments seeking an end to the invasion of Ukraine.

“We respect your initiatives, and we are examining them carefully,” Putin told the African leaders on Friday.

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Putin remarked that he was considering the peace plans as distinct from initiatives from “so-called advanced democracies” that had a vested interest in the outcome of the conflict.

“Previous mediation initiatives were monopolized by so-called advanced democracies. Now Africa too is ready to help resolve problems that appear to be outside of its area of priorities,” Putin said.

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“This is an acute issue, and we aren’t evading its consideration,” he added.

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Putin went on to reassure the African leaders that Russian supplies of grain and other agricultural resources to the continent would not be affected by the Kremlin’s efforts to disrupt Ukrainian grain trade.

Last year, the United Nations brokered a deal between the warring nations to secure vital grain trade, with Ukraine and Russia making up around 25% of the world’s wheat, hence Ukraine’s nickname as the “breadbasket of Europe.”

Earlier this month, Moscow announced that it had terminated the deal and then attacked Ukrainian ports just one day later as part of “mass revenge strikes” that Russia claimed would balance out attacks from Kyiv against bridges connecting to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia has held since its initial incursion in 2014.

“Russia will always be a responsible international supplier of agricultural products and will continue to support the countries and region in need by offering free grain and other supplies,” Putin told the African leaders.

Striking a diplomatic tone, Putin characterized African nations and Russia as allies in a global struggle to break Western control over economic and social spheres.

“The era of hegemony of one or several countries is receding into the past, albeit not without resistance on the part of those who got used to their own uniqueness and monopoly in global affairs,” the Russian president said.

He continued, “Russia and Africa are united by an innate desire to defend true sovereignty and the right to their own distinctive path of development in the political, economic, social, cultural and other spheres.”

Fox News Digital’s Peter Aiken contributed to this report.

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