The Senegalese Head of State, President-in-Office of the African Union (AU), Macky Sall called on Friday to “realize” that African countries are “victims” of the conflict in Ukraine, against a backdrop of fear global food crisis.
During a meeting in Sochi” with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, Macky Sall claimed to have come “to ask to be aware that our countries (…) are victims of this economic crisis”.
The UN fears “a hurricane of famine”, mainly in African countries which imported more than half of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, especially since no ship can leave Ukrainian ports because of the conflict.
Sall, whose remarks were relayed by the media, stressed that African states were suffering from the consequences of the Russian offensive against Ukraine while “the majority of African countries avoided condemning Russia” in two votes of the UN, and that with “Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, a good part of humanity” preferred to stay away from the conflict.
He noted that the food tensions caused by the conflict have been aggravated by Western sanctions which affect Russia’s logistics, trade and financial chain.
The AU chairperson, accompanied by the chairperson of the African Union Commission, the Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat, called for the food sector to be “out of the sanctions” imposed by the West in retaliation for the Russian military offensive.
“The sanctions against Russia have led to more seriousness, we no longer have access to cereals from Russia, but above all to fertilizers”, noted the Senegalese president, stressing that “this really creates serious threats to the food security of the continent “.
Macky Sall is in Russia amid fears of a global food crisis, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict having paralyzed food exports from these two agricultural giants.
The Kremlin had indicated that Vladimir Putin wanted to take advantage of this meeting to “give a full explanation of his vision of the situation regarding Ukrainian cereals”. According to him, only Ukraine and the West are responsible for the emerging food crisis.
Macky Sall’s visit “is part of the efforts led by the Presidency-in-Office of the Union to contribute to calming the war in Ukraine, and to freeing up stocks of cereals and fertilizers particularly affects African countries,” the Senegalese presidency said in a statement, adding that this trip “follows the meeting of the Extended Bureau of the African Union on May 10, 2022.”