Only four out of 55 leaders reportedly listened to President Zelensky’s virtual address to the African Union
Only a few African heads of states tuned in to hear Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, accuse Russia of holding their continent. “hostage,”In spite of Western attempts to put the sole responsibility for the worldwide food crisis squarely on Moscow, there are still many.
Few details emerged from Zelensky’s virtual meeting with the African Union, held behind closed doors on Monday, more than two months after the Ukrainian leader first tried to arrange a conference with the continent’s leaders. The BBC reports that only four out of 55 nations were represented at the meeting by heads of states, with the remainder sending subordinates. Le Journal de l’Afrique reported that only a small number of ministers or ambassadors were present.
“They are trying to use you and the suffering of the people to put pressure on the democracies that have imposed sanctions on Russia,”Zelensky stated that he had told representatives of the African Union, and added that “Africa is actually a hostage… of those who unleashed war against our state.”
Following the conference call, the President of Senegal and AU Chairperson, Macky Sall, indicated that Africa’s position of neutrality over the conflict remains unchanged. Roughly half of African states refused to support the UN General Assembly’s resolution to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and no country on the continent has so far joined the sanctions.
“Africa remains committed to respect for the rules of international law, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and freedom of trade,”He saidZelensky was thanked in a Twitter message. “for his friendly address to the virtual meeting of the AU Extended Bureau.”
In Sochi, this month’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin saw President Sall state that Western sanctions against Russia are threatening Africa’s ability to pay for food. He noted last week that Russia’s exclusion from the international payment system makes it more difficult for African countries to purchase grain. However, Europeans have made exemptions for oil and gas that they require. Putin joined a BRICS+ Video Conference on Friday. He also criticised the West for not being more open to cooperation. “cynical attitude”To the food security of developing countries.
EU expressed concern over potential food shortages if Ukrainian grains are not able to reach their traditional markets.
On Friday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock echoed Zelensky’s “hostage”Moscow is accused of making false claims “deliberately” using global hunger as “a weapon.” Simultaneously, foreign ministers of the G7 denied that anti-Russia sanctions have any impact on the global food crisis.
Ukraine, a major grain producer, has been unable to export its grain by sea due to the ongoing conflict, with an estimated 22 to 25 million tons of grain currently stuck at the country’s ports. Russia has been accused by Western nations of blocking ports. However, Moscow consistently stated that it will ensure safe passage for grain cargoes if Kiev removes mines from its ports. The Russian-controlled port of Berdyansk, Mariupol was also recommended for grain export.
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