KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — African nations are free to purchase grain from Russia however may face penalties in the event that they commerce in U.S.-sanctioned commodities similar to Russian oil, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations stated Thursday.
“Nations should buy Russian agricultural merchandise, together with fertilizer and wheat,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated. However she added that “if a rustic decides to interact with Russia, the place there are sanctions, then they’re breaking these sanctions.”
“We warning international locations to not break these sanctions as a result of then … they stand the prospect of getting actions taken in opposition to them,” she stated.
Thomas-Greenfield spoke within the Ugandan capital, Kampala, after a gathering with President Yoweri Museveni, a U.S. ally who has not criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has expressed sympathy with Moscow.
Uganda is the U.S. official’s first cease on an African tour that may embody visits to Ghana and Cape Verde. Her journey comes every week after the Africa go to of Sergey Lavrov, the Russian international minister, who dismissed prices that his nation’s invasion of Ukraine is solely liable for a harmful meals disaster in international locations starting from Somalia to South Sudan.
Lavrov blamed meals shortages out there on “the completely insufficient response of the West, which introduced sanctions” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine and Russia are key world suppliers of wheat, barley, corn and sunflower oil, with combating within the Black Sea area, referred to as t he “breadbasket of the world,” pushing up meals costs, threatening political stability in creating nations and main international locations to ban some meals exports.
Many African international locations — together with some with areas which can be on the brink of famine — rely closely on grain imports from Russia and Ukraine.
Thomas-Greenfield insisted that sanctions imposed by Washington are to not blame for rising meals costs in Africa and elsewhere.
She stated the U.S. seeks to strengthen current partnerships in African international locations similar to Uganda and spoke of Museveni, an authoritarian who has held energy for 36 years, as a regional chief with whom the U.S. has “mutual pursuits.”
Uganda is one among 25 African nations that abstained or didn’t vote within the U.N. Common Meeting decision condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this yr. Many international locations on the continent of 1.3 billion individuals have long-standing ties with Moscow, relationship again to the Chilly Warfare when the Soviet Union supported their anti-colonial struggles.
Museveni stated throughout Lavrov’s go to that Russia has been a good friend to the East African nation for greater than 100 years, suggesting he felt below strain to help the U.S. place on the struggle in Ukraine.
Daniel Elton, senior editor at Wahu Times, writes about politics and policy with a focus on climate advocacy. Daniel previously at the New Republic and, and Self. Daniel can be reached by email.