Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Argentina in bid to win Global South's support

Ukraine will attend inauguration of Argentine president-elect Javier Milei

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will travel to South America as he attempts to gain more support amid the war in Ukraine. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy travelled to Argentina on Saturday to attend the inauguration of the Argentinian president-elect Javier Milei, his first trip to Latin America.

Mr Zelenskyy's trip, announced on the Telegram messaging app, will focus on Ukraine's long-standing bid to secure the support of countries in the Global South in Ukraine's 21-month-old war against Russia.

The Ukrainian president said he had met the Prime Minister of the West African country of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva, en route to Argentina and thanked him for “condemning Russian aggression” and supporting Ukrainian initiatives.

Mr Zelenskyy hopes to convene a “global peace summit” and has promoted a peace plan rooted in the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and recognition of its post-Soviet borders of 1991.

Kyiv has been trying to build ties with African, Asian and Latin American governments, but has found its support for Israel at odds with the positions of some of those countries.

Ukrainian media speculated this week that Mr Milei's inauguration could serve as a backdrop for a meeting between Mr Zelenskyy and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to resolve differences over Ukraine's bid for EU membership.

An EU summit next week will decide on whether to start talks with Ukraine and Moldova, as recommended by the EU Executive Commission, on their bids to secure membership.

A decision must be taken unanimously and Mr Orban has repeatedly voiced opposition to starting the talks now.

Mr Zelenskyy's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said this week that he was trying to arrange a suitable time for a meeting between the President and Mr Orban.

Like the new Argentinian president, Mr Orban is an advocate of right-wing views. In a posting on Saturday on X, formerly Twitter, he said he had already met Mr Milei.

Mr Orban hailed the electoral success of the right “not only in Europe but all around the world”.

Updated: December 10, 2023, 4:10 AM