Russia, Africa to reduce mutual trade in USD, Euro
African countries, frustrated with western sanctions and political pressures, eye Russia for trade in national currencies.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, on Friday, said Russian and African partners are working on reducing, though gradually, trade in the US dollar and the euro in mutual trade payments.
"For sure, the current geopolitical situation requires certain adjustment of the mechanisms of our interaction: first of all, there is a question of ensuring seamless logistic and tuning the system of financial settlements to make them secure from the outer interference. In cooperation with its partners, Russia takes steps to enhance the use of national currencies and payment systems. We are working to gradually reduce the share of dollar and euro in mutual trade," Lavrov said in an article to African outlets, published by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday.
Russia has for long advocated for the establishment of an independent and efficient financial system independent from the SWIFT system that is "proof against the potential impact from the unfriendly States."
Between July 24 and 28, Lavrov will be traveling to Africa and is scheduled to visit Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, and the Congo.
Europe and the West, since the start of the war in Ukraine, have been trying to get African countries to condemn the "Russian invasion" of Ukraine, in addition to exploiting the media to blame Russia for food security in Africa while western Europe has been reaping its resources for centuries, plunging it in crippling debt.
Russia committed to supplying energy to Africa despite sanctions
Moscow, according to Lavrov, will continue to fulfill its obligations to supply food, fertilizers, and energy to African countries, regardless of western sanctions.
"It is essential that all our African friends understand that Russia will continue to fulfill in good faith its obligations under international contracts with regard to exports of food, fertilizers, energy and other goods vital for Africa. Russia is taking all measures to this end," Lavrov said.
He added that Russia is well-aware of the importance of commodities essential to the social fabric, which includes food.
"I would like to emphasize that the speculations of Western and Ukrainian propaganda that Russia allegedly "exports hunger" are completely unfounded. In fact, these are yet another attempt to shift the blame to others," Lavrov said.
He argued that the collective West used the global COVID-19 pandemic to withhold commodities and food flows, which has forced developing countries to be dependent on its food imports, which was the starting point of a global food crisis.
West pressuring African countries to condemn Russia
In May, Russian Ambassador to Angola Vladimir Tararov told Sputnik that the West is going so far as to exert pressure on African states that it is even resorting to immoral actions like threats.
“I know that they [Angola] are under extreme pressure from the Western countries, who call on them to condemn Russia. But they expressly behave in this way, saying that we will contribute to the establishment of peace, we will contribute with all our might so that agreements are reached between the parties," Tararov said.
The Ambassador explained that Western nations "are just threatening, blackmailing. This blackmail, I emphasize once again, is immoral. The countries [of Africa] are barely standing their ground to resist."
The Russian diplomat stressed that when voting was underway for the anti-Russian resolution at the UN General Assembly, "almost all African countries voted neutrally, that is, they abstained. This means they did not support this resolution. But they did not dare to vote against it, because the pressure was extreme."