Image Source: CGTN
The assertions that Moscow was to blame for the world food crisis have been refuted by Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, who is currently on a diplomatic mission in Egypt.
He claimed Western governments were fabricating information on how sanctions affect global food security in an address to Arab League ambassadors in Cairo. He charged that trying to impose their supremacy over others was a goal of Western countries.
Grain shortages resulting from Russia’s war in Ukraine have a severe impact on most of the Arab countries and Africa.
After Russia struck targets in the port of Odesa on Saturday, a historic agreement signed on Friday to begin exports of grain from Ukraine is in jeopardy.
After that, Mr. Lavrov will travel to three African countries in an effort to mobilize support amid the outrage over the conflict.
It is not about Ukraine; it is about the future of the global order, according to Mr. Lavrov, who claimed that Western nations’ “aggressiveness” in placing sanctions on Russia revealed this.
With his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, Mr. Lavrov had earlier discussions. Russia, a major supplier of food and armaments and, before the invasion of Ukraine, a big source of visitors, has strong relations with Egypt.
The West is extending the fight even though it knows “what and whose end it will be,” according to Mr. Lavrov, who spoke with Mr. Shoukry after their discussions.
Mr. Lavrov’s brief trip to Africa, which also includes stops in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Congo-Brazzaville, begins with this stop.
In a piece written by a local newspaper prior to his visit, Mr. Lavrov said that his nation had “sincerely helped Africans in their quest for emancipation from the colonial yoke.”
Russia appreciated the “balanced posture” Africans had on the Ukrainian problem, he continued.
The African Development Bank states that Ukraine and Russia often supply more than 40% of Africa’s wheat.
Typically, Ukraine’s wheat is heavily used in Egypt. As a result, it imported more of it than any other country in 2019, with 3.62 million tonnes.
In contrast, Mr. Lavrov, in his article, denied the charge that Russia was “exporting starvation” and attributed it to Western propaganda.
In addition, he said that the coronavirus pandemic-related “negative tendencies” in the world food market had been made worse by Western sanctions on Russia.
Instead, he asserted that the “collective West” had monopolized supply and commodity flows during the Covid-19 epidemic, making it more difficult for underdeveloped nations to purchase food, which was made worse by sanctions taken on Russia.
The food shortages, however, are most severe in Africa. According to a June 2022 report by FAO, Eritrea imported all of its wheat from Ukraine and Russia in 2021, despite the United Nations’ warning that up to 49 million people could be forced into famine or famine-like conditions as a result of the Ukraine war’s devastating effects on the world’s food supply and prices. Furthermore, the number of cases of malnutrition has increased, and wheat prices have at least doubled in Somalia, a nation that is already experiencing an acute drought.
To maintain harmony in their relations with Moscow and Western nations, most African nations have not denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia using Africa’s refusal to choose a side to its advantage
We’ll assist you to finish the decolonization process, Sergei Lavrov said in an effort to persuade African nations that it would be better for them to support Russia than the West.
However, the refusal to take sides in the Ukraine conflict appears to be unpopular throughout a large portion of the continent. A terrible effect of the Cold War was that it halted growth and fueled wars throughout Africa.
The rising fuel and food price is currently the biggest cause for concern. Russian and Ukrainian wheat accounts for more than 40% of African wheat consumed.
Some African leaders are aware that when people can’t afford to eat, their own positions of authority are threatened.