(Bloomberg) -- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba laid out his country’s plans to counter Russia’s influence in Africa, while saying he has no indication of what leaders from the continent are proposing in a planned peace initiative. 

Kuleba, who spoke to African journalists on a conference call on Wednesday, said his country will open 10 new embassies on the continent, starting with Rwanda and Mozambique. It will also seek to boost agricultural exports to the continent and strengthen military relations. 

“We are eager to build strong partnerships based on the principle of 3M — mutual respect, mutual interest and mutual benefit,” he said. “Ukraine is not a victim and not a beggar coming to ask for help. We come to African friends offering mutually beneficial partnerships.”

The comments by Kuleba, who has visited Africa this year and plans another trip “this summer,” come after his country and its allies expressed concern about the backing Russia has received from some African nations and the ambivalence of others toward Russia’s invasion of his country.

Some African countries, including South Africa, have abstained from United Nations resolutions condemning the invasion. In addition, South Africa has hosted the Russian navy for exercises, invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to a BRICS summit in the country in August, and been accused by the US ambassador of loading arms onto a Russian trip.

South Africa insists it’s not taking sides in the conflict and has denied supplying weapons to Russia. 

The former Soviet Union supported many African nations in their fight for independence, still supplies many with arms, while mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group fight rebels on behalf of several African governments.

Kuleba said that African leaders from six nations who’ve announced plans to visit Moscow and Kyiv to seek peace between the two nations haven’t said yet what their proposals are.

A date hasn’t been set for the trip by leaders from Zambia, Senegal, the Republic of Congo, Uganda, Egypt and South Africa. Still, Putin said he will meet the delegation soon, the Kremlin said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.

“President Putin has welcomed the initiative by African heads of state and expressed his desire to receive the peace mission,” South Africa’s government said in a statement on Thursday. South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa discussed the mission with the African heads of state on June 5, the government said.

While Ukraine is willing to host the African leaders, any proposal must respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and must not demand an immediate cease-fire, Kuleba said. 

African nations have been hard hit by the conflict, which has driven up the cost of their wheat and fertilizer imports as the warring nations are key suppliers of both commodities.

“We also keep working hard to ensure that the volume of exported Ukrainian grain keeps growing despite any obstacles,” Kuleba said. “And by any obstacles, I mean Russia. This is the only obstacle really.”

(Updates with comment from South Africa in 10th paragraph)

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