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UWC welcomes African leaders’ support for renewing the Black Sea Grain Deal

#UWC news
August 3,2023 796
UWC welcomes African leaders’ support for renewing the Black Sea Grain Deal

During the Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg on July 27-28 the leaders of all the participating African countries expressed their firm and unequivocal support for the Black Sea Grain Deal renewal.    

“Moscow’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Deal in mid-July 2023 was another act of aggression by Russia against Ukraine and an attempt to destabilize global food security. Russia’s missile attacks of residential homes, schools, churches, historical sites and grain export terminals in Odesa city and region is a war crime and must be countered by the international community. As one of the largest exporters of food products to Africa and Asia, Ukraine plays a major role in global food security. Russia once again is using hunger as a hybrid weapon against all sovereign states and against the African nations, in particular,” stated UWC President Paul Grod.    

The 2023 Russia-Africa summit was intended to be a major political event with a purpose to demonstrate Russia’s “increasing role and geopolitical leadership” in Africa as well as Moscow’s “special relations” with the African countries. To secure the favors of African leaders, Putin even promised to provide Russia’s closest African allies, namely Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea, with tons of grain free of charge.     

However, the 55-member African Union, currently headed by Comoros President Azali Assoumani, called on Putin to urgently reinstate a United Nations-brokered Black Sea Grain Deal in order to resume grain exports from Ukraine. Moreover, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasized that his country’s delegation “did not come to Russia to ask for gifts for the African continent” and called on Putin to resume the work of the Grain Initiative and open the Black Sea ports to world markets.    

Additionally, during the summit, African leaders urged Putin to pursue peace talks with Ukraine and called upon him to end Russia’s ongoing war of aggression.  

“We welcome the African Union leaders’ firm position on the Grain Deal. It is crucial to ensure that the voice of Africa is heard globally. Moscow’s efforts to limit grain supplies are aimed at making African states more vulnerable, politically unstable, economically weak, and overall dependent on Russia. We call upon the leaders of Africa to stand with Ukraine and use their relations with Moscow to compel the Kremlin to stop the war and withdraw Russian troops from sovereign Ukrainian territory,” President Grod concluded.  

Cover: Reuters

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