Sergey Lavrov is scheduled to speak to members of the Arab League during his visit to Egypt. According to the BBC, the head of Russia’s foreign ministry is “mobilizing support for Moscow” in the face of international outrage over the invasion of Ukraine. African countries at that time were facing a food crisis caused by cutting off grain imports from Ukraine, among other countries. Lavrov also plans to visit Ethiopia, Uganda and Congo.
As described by the BBC, Sergey Lavrov In Egypt, he wants to “mobilize support for Moscow and confront international anger against it.” wars in ukraineThe Russian foreign minister had already met his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo.
At a joint conference, he confirmed that Russia’s grain supply will be guaranteed Egypt.
British journalists pointed out that Egypt has strong relations with RussiaWhich provides it with wheat and weapons and the influx of large numbers of tourists to it. For Lavrov, this is the first stop on a short trip to Africa EthiopiaUganda and the Congo”, the BBC wrote.
In an article published in local newspapers before his visit, Lavrov stated that his country “has always faithfully supported Africa in its struggle to liberate from the yoke of colonialism.” He added that Russia appreciates the “balanced position” of African countries on Ukraine.
Meanwhile, many African countries are suffering from grain shortages caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is one of the world’s largest grain exporters. Russian aggression drastically reduced its production capacity, the Russians closed the Black Sea ports, and prevented Ukraine from exporting grain. All this poses a risk of a sharp increase in grain prices on world markets and food shortages, including in African countries.
Egypt itself is a large consumer of Ukrainian wheat. In 2019, it imported 3.62 million tons, more than any other country, according to the BBC. Reuters notes that wheat from Russia and Ukraine last year accounted for 80 percent of the country’s total imports.
However, according to Lavrov, the accusations that Russia is responsible for the grain crisis are “the fault of Western propaganda.” In his opinion, the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia exacerbated the “negative trends” in the world food market, which were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Information from Egypt has been analyzed in the BBC’s pages by Will Ross, Africa Regional Editor. He commented on this: “Lavrov is trying to convince African countries that it is a better option for them to side with Russia than with the West, using phrases such as“ We will help you complete the process of decolonization.”
“Across much of the continent, there is clearly a reluctance to take sides in the war in Ukraine,” he noted, noting the “devastating effect” of the Cold War that “fuelled conflicts in Africa and halted development.”
Main image source: PAP / EPA / Mohamed Hossam
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