On Thursday, the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmitry Kuleba, called on Africans to reject Moscow’s “lies” about the food crisis, and accused the Russian president of playing “hunger games” with Africa and the rest of the world.
Guleba explained this at a press conference held by the US State Department’s Africa Press Center Ukraine wants to re-export agricultural products, which are important in many markets, as soon as possible.But it is currently impossible due to the crisis of the siege of Ukrainian ports by Russia and the impact of the war on crops.
According to Guleba, “Russia is present To prevent 57 vessels full of grainHe lamented that “the traditional export chain has been disrupted” due to the siege imposed by the Russian Navy on the Black Sea.
“Now we can only use roads, trains and rivers,” he stressed.
When Russia launched its invasion, it was well aware of the consequences, not just for Ukraine but for the world as a whole, ”said Guleba.
“Moscow fears that African countries will back down from the food crisis,” the minister underlined after arguing that Russian officials were trying to blame Ukraine and sanctions imposed by the West for disruptions affecting the food market. Globally.
In this regard, Kuleba urged African countries to keep in mind that Ukraine has always been a reliable supplier, and that his country’s economy largely depends on its agricultural exports.
Explaining part of Russia’s strategy, the Ukrainian government official stressed that “we are just as interested in selling our crops as you are in getting them.” Is to drive Ukraine out of its traditional markets to “make money” and expand Russian influence..
The impact of the war in Ukraine on the global food market is particularly severe for products such as wheat, corn and sunflower, for which the country is a strategic pantry for the world.
In Africa, countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia or Tunisia rely heavily on Ukrainian exports.
According to data provided by Guleba this Thursday, In recent years, 26% of wheat imported from Ethiopia and Egypt is of Ukrainian origin..
Therefore, while Russia has other economic weapons, such as oil and gas, agricultural supplies are essential for Ukraine’s survival, Guleba said.
The Ukrainian ruler promised to take into account the large relations of many African countries with Russia (many of whom avoid condemning the invasion from the outset), but asked to take into account that Moscow was trying to turn their country into a colony. .
Guleba stressed that Ukraine’s relations with Africa have always been good, and recalled the importance of Africa’s voice in the “global arena” with the African Union (AU) President Volodymyr Zhelensky.
In this way, he was optimistic about the forthcoming participation in the G7 meetings of the President and Acting AU President of Senegal, Macky Sall and Zelensky.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and has already killed more than 4,000 civilians in a military offensive that, according to the UN, warns that the actual number could be much higher.
The latest UN report says more than eight million people have been displaced by the military offensive, more than 6.6 million of whom have fled the country.
The Russian invasion was generally condemned by the international community, which responded by sending arms to Ukraine and strengthening economic and political sanctions on Moscow.