Image Source: CGTN
While on a diplomatic assault in Egypt, Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister has refuted claims that his nation was responsible for the global food crisis.
He asserted that Western nations were distorting the effects of sanctions on global food security in a Cairo speech to Arab League ambassadors. He claimed that the West was trying to impose its superiority on other cultures.
A significant chunk of the Arab world and Africa are being seriously impacted by the grain shortages caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
A historic agreement to restore Ukraine’s grain supplies is in peril after Russian forces attacked targets in the port of Odesa on Saturday. Then, Mr. Lavrov would visit three African nations to rally support in the face of opposition to the war.
Mr. Lavrov asserts that only one logical conclusion can be drawn from the “aggressiveness” with which Western nations have implemented sanctions against Russia: “It is not about Ukraine, it is about the future of the world order. Before that, Mr. Lavrov had a conversation with his Egyptian colleague Sameh Shoukry.
Russia has close ties with Egypt and supplies food, weapons, and, before the invasion of Ukraine, a sizable number of tourists. Following their meeting, Mr. Lavrov asserted that the West was prolonging the conflict despite knowing “what and whose end it will be” in a joint news conference.
It is the start of a brief trip for Mr. Lavrov through Africa, which will also take him to Ethiopia, Uganda, and Congo-Brazzaville.
Local newspapers carried an article written by Mr. Lavrov before his trip in which he asserted that his country had “sincerely assisted Africans in their struggle for independence from the colonial yoke.”
He stated that Russia appreciated the “balanced attitude” taken by Africans to the Ukrainian conflict.
According to the African Development Bank, Ukraine and Russia normally supply more than 40% of Africa’s wheat. Egypt frequently consumes a lot of Ukrainian wheat. In 2019, it brought in 3.62 million tonnes, more than any other country.
Mr. Lavrov, however, debunked the claim that Russia was “exporting starvation” in his article and blamed it on Western propaganda. He went on to argue that Western sanctions against Russia have made the coronavirus pandemic-related “negative trends” in the world food market much worse.
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 is taking advantage of Africa’s unwillingness to take sides
Sergei Lavrov uses phrases like “we’ll help you finish the decolonization process” to try and convince African countries that it would be better for them to support Russia than the West.
But it is clear that a sizable chunk of the continent is reluctant to take a side in the situation in Ukraine. The Cold War exacerbated tensions in Africa and slowed advancement.
The major concern at the moment is the growing cost of food and fuel. For example, Africa imports more than 40% of the wheat it uses from Russia and Ukraine.
Some African leaders are aware that when people cannot afford to eat, their control is jeopardized.