EU blames Russian leadership for Africa food crisis, not sanctions
Amid growing food insecurity in Africa, the European Union sees that President Putin is to blame for the crisis instead of the Western sanctions on Russia.
Surging food insecurity throughout the African continent should be blamed on the Russian leadership that is behind the Ukraine war instead of the Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the war, European Commission foreign affairs spokesperson Peter Stano said Thursday while trying to evade responsibility for the issues caused by the anti-Russian sanctions.
The continent affected most by the ongoing global food shortages, Africa, sees things differently, however.
Senegalese President and African Union Chairman Macky Sall said Tuesday that Western sanctions imposed on Russian banks and their disconnection from the SWIFT system of global payments impede and completely cut off African countries' bids to acquire food and fertilizers, further jeopardizing their food security and putting them on the edge of famine.
"The sanctions are not directed on anyone else, only against [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and his supporters, against the regime, as I said, to limit their ability to finance the war," Stano claimed.
Completely absolving the West from accountability over the crisis, Stano said whatever negative consequences stem, from the "illegal aggression led by Russia against Ukraine" have one reason only, which is President Putin's decisions. His words came in response to the Senegalese president's comments.
Several countries and international organizations have been calling for the unblocking of the Ukrainian seaports since the start of the war. Grain is stuck in the country's warehouse, and the world is calling for its release with the aim of curtailing the rising food process and delivering crops to regions facing acute food crises as soon as possible.
Wheat is the second most-produced grain in the world after corn; now the whole world might face a wheat supply shortage due to the #Ukrainian crisis and the sanctions imposed on #Russia.#Ukraine #RussiaUkraine pic.twitter.com/aNkRuR4cj7— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) March 2, 2022
Countries struggling economically are threatened to fall short some 10 million tons in grain supplies from Russia in the upcoming season if trade barriers are upheld, Russian Union of Grain Exporters chair Eduard Zernin stressed in late May.
Russia has been denying the blocking of seaports, and it has highlighted that Ukraine deployed mines in the Black Sea.
This comes as Russia stressed that it would retain its grain export quota mechanism next season, and its exports in 2022 could reach 50 million tonnes.
Just last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country's grain harvest in 2022 could exceed 130 million tonnes, and wheat comprises 87 million tonnes of those, which would see Moscow setting a new all-time record.
He also told Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi that Moscow was ready to make a "major contribution" in the course of preventing an impending food crisis if the West lifts its sanctions.
The war is highly affecting the world as a whole due to the vast role Russia and Ukraine play in the international arena when it comes to wheat and grain exports. They account for an estimated 30% of global exports of wheat, 20% of maize, and 76% of sunflower.