Ruto calls for resolution of war in Ukraine during meeting with Spanish Prime Minister

President William Ruto called on the international community to act quickly to resolve the dispute between Russia and Ukraine that has culminated in war since February.

Speaking at State House Nairobi when he held bilateral talks with visiting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, President Ruto said the war was a setback, especially in the wake of climate change and countries with struggling with the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Spain and Kenya have the same position on issues related to Ukraine and we believe that internationally recognized instruments that call for respecting countries’ borders are the bare minimum that any nation should respect,” the president said. Ruto.

The invasion of Ukraine in February this year, which Russia calls a “special military operation”, was attributed to the destabilization of commodity prices on the world market, a situation which also affected Kenya.

Kenya, which sources commodities such as maize, wheat, fertilizers and edible oils from the two warring countries, has seen prices soar since war broke out eight months ago.

“It is our position as Kenya and EA that the issues around Ukraine must be resolved as soon as possible because amid the covid pandemic and climate change, serious challenges we have, the least of which what we need is a war between the two. This is our collective position and I am happy that we share it with our good Spanish friends,” said President Ruto.

Kenya and Spain are now aiming to increase bilateral trade with a signed memorandum of understanding in the areas of trade, health and education.

“We have many areas where we can work together and strengthen our bilateral society,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.

He added, “I am bringing a very large delegation of companies and private enterprises that are already established in Kenya and they are eager to increase their presence in Kenya.”

President Ruto said Kenya will seek partnerships with Spain in sectors such as tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, water management and renewable energy.

“I am committed to strengthening our economic and investment relations between our two countries and I appreciate that bilateral flows have shown very positive growth, especially over the past ten years,” President Ruto said.

In one year to July 2022, Kenyan exports to the European Union country increased by 26.5% to Ksh 905 million, while imports decreased by 6.07% to to Ksh 801.2 million, according to trade data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

President Ruto says Kenya will join Spain and Senegal in the Alliance Against Desertification as Kenya seeks to mobilize climate finance to tackle climate change and plant 10 billion trees within 10 years .

This comes as the two countries seek common ground at COP27 in Egypt next month.

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