President Yoweri Museveni has asked the United States (U.S) to desist from involving Africa in sanctions imposed on Russia due to its Special Military Operation in Ukraine.

Museveni made the remarks on Thursday while meeting the U.S Ambassador to the United Nations H.E Linda Thomas-Greenfield at State House Entebbe.

H.E Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday.

“We had a good discussion on regional matters of security and of course, the economic hardships occasioned by the Ukraine-Russian war,” Museveni said.

Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Gen Jeje Odongo and Okello Oryem during the meeting at State House Entebbe on Thursday.

“We are also appealing to the U.S that if they really want to help Africa, they should consider separating us from the sanctions in a war where we are not participating,” he added.

Sanctions are penalties imposed by one country on another, to stop it acting aggressively, or breaking international law.

Millions of people in Africa could face starvation should the existing global food crisis persist or later worsen. The crisis is triggered by the decision of the West and the U.S to impose the severest sanctions in modern history on Russia over its special military operation in Ukraine in February this year.

The military operation in Ukraine is only intended to demilitarize Ukraine so that there would be no weapons posing a threat to Russia, protecting the people of Donetsk and Lugansk Republics and to denazify Ukraine.

Some of these sanctions include blocking of international transportation and the arrests of large-tonnage vessels, inability to insure Russian sea shipments and the disconnection of Russian banks from the SWIFT system, leading to the rupture of logistics and financial chains that have existed for decades in the world trade system.

The Biden administration and the West have been reaching out to countries around the World to gain their support for severe sanctions and export control packages against Russia, although they are registering a very minute progress.

Uganda not ready to isolate Russia

At a press conference in Entebbe alongside Russia’s Foreign Minister, H.E Sergey V. Lavrov, last week,
President Yoweri Museveni said Uganda will continue cooperating with Russia, noting that it’s not Kampala’s doctrine to be an enemy of other people’s enemies.

“We want to trade with Russia, we want to trade with all countries of the World. We don’t believe in being enemies of somebody’s enemy, no. We want to make our own enemies not to fight other people’s enemies, this is our doctrine,” Museveni said on Tuesday.

“When there was the cold war, one day they asked me a question, ‘are you pro-east or pro-west?’, I said you must think I am an idiot, why do you think my main job is to be pro-somebody?”

“I am pro myself and I deal with all other people according to how they relate with my own interests. These people think we are stupid, such a question is idiotic. It is not my job to be pro-east or pro-west, I am pro myself and I deal with people according to the way they deal with me,” he added.

At another joint press conference with a European Union delegation, two days later, Museveni defended the country’s relationship with Russia. “How can we be against somebody who has never harmed us?” Museveni asked.

“If Russia makes mistakes, we tell them,” Museveni said, citing his participation in student demonstrations against the crushing of the Prague Spring by the Soviet Union in 1968.

“But when they have not made a mistake, we cannot be against them,” he added.

Why African countries should demand removal of sanctions on Russia

The West’s and U.S attempt to isolate Russia as ‘punishment’ has sent the price of grain, cooking oil, fertilizer and energy soaring, leading to the global food crisis that could cause famine in not only Africa but the entire world.

Much as the unfavorable situation on the world food market began to take shape since February 2020 in the process of combating the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, imposing the unilateral restrictive measures against Russia in February – March 2022 worsened the situation.

The sanctions turned out to be so harsh that the systemic errors of the West in the macroeconomic and food policies showed up and produced new serious problems that became the trigger of the impending food crisis.

Western politicians do not take into account that Russia is one of the world’s main producers of food and energy, one of the major exporters of agricultural and food complex products. Now Russia supplies 161 countries with agricultural raw materials and food.

The amount of export of food products and agricultural raw materials in 2021 amounted to 71 million tons worth 37.1 billion dollars, which is 21% higher than in 2020 (30.5 billion dollars).

According to forecasts, Russian export of food products and agricultural raw materials in 2022 may grow by about 6% compared to the level of 2021 and will achieve to more than $ 39 billion.

In 2021 the major part of Russian agricultural export consisted of cereals. Expectations for the new harvest of 2022 are mostly optimistic. In January 2022, the amount of Russian export of poultry increased by 39.1%, fresh and frozen fish – by 17%, seafood – by 24%. In the first quarter of 2022 export from Russia was $0.96 billion.

This is 43.2% more than the same period in 2021. The western sanctions affect all Russian agricultural export and have negative consequences for all countries without exception.

Russia has previously stated that as a responsible participant of the global food market, they are ready to faithfully fulfill all its obligations under international contracts regarding the export of agricultural products, fertilizers, energy resources and other critical products.

They say that Moscow is well aware of the importance of the supply of socially significant goods, including food, for the socio-economic development of the states of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, the achievement of food security indicators and the implementation of the UN program on Sustainable Development Goals.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He...

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