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Senegalese President Macky Sall, also president of the African Union, met with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Friday amid fears of a food crisis. Macky Sall called on the Russian president to “realize” that African countries are “victims” of the war in Ukraine. The Senegalese head of state then said he was “reassured” when he left his meeting with the Kremlin master.
The President of theAfrican Union and Senegal, Macky Sall asked on Friday, May 3, at Vladimir Putin to “become aware” that African countries were “victims” of the conflict in Ukraineamid fears of a global food crisis.
“I came to you to ask you to realize that our countries (…) are victims of this economic crisis,” he said at the beginning of their meeting in Sochi, southern Russia.
TheUN fears “a famine hurricane”, mainly in African countries that imported more than half of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, especially since no more ships can leave Ukrainian ports due to the conflict.
Macky Sall reminded Vladimir Putin that African states are suffering the consequences ofRussian offensive against Ukraine while “the majority of African countries avoided condemning Russia” in two UN votes, and with “Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, much of the humanity “preferred to stay out of the conflict.
In Russia, President Macky Sall reaffirms his “neutrality” over war in Ukraine
Russian exports of cereals and fertilizers stopped
Macky Sall noted that the food tensions caused by the conflict have been exacerbated by Western sanctions affecting Russia’s supply, trade and financial chain.
He therefore called for the food sector to be preserved “outside the sanctions” imposed by Westerners in retaliation for the Russian military offensive.
“Sanctions against Russia have become more serious, we no longer have access to cereals from Russia, but especially to fertilizers,” said the Senegalese president.
“Russia is using its grain power to pressurize some countries,” said Sébastien Abis
“It really poses serious threats to the continent’s food security,” he said.
Vladimir Putin, for his part, did not address the issue in the public part of the meeting. He stressed the Soviet Union’s “support” for African countries “in the fight against colonization” and praised the development of Russian-African relations.
Macky Sall “reassured”
At the end of the meeting, however, the Senegalese president said he was “reassured” and “very happy” with his exchanges with the Kremlin master. He added that he found his Russian counterpart “committed and aware that the crisis and sanctions are creating serious problems for weak economies, such as African economies”.
Macky Sall is in Russia amid fears of a global food crisis, as Russia’s offensive in Ukraine has paralyzed the food exports of these two agricultural giants.
This has led to a spike in cereal and oil prices, which have surpassed prices in the Arab Spring of 2011 and the 2008 famine riots.
Earlier, the Kremlin had stated that Vladimir Putin wanted to take advantage of the meeting to “give a full explanation of his vision of the situation regarding Ukrainian cereals.” According to him, only Ukraine and Westerners are responsible for the emerging food crisis.