The West has regularly tried to unite the world against Russia whether it’s Asia, Australia, Latin America or Africa. The West, especially America, has left no stone unturned in its quest against Russia by the victimization of Ukraine. One such incident occurred at the UNGA’s 77th Summit
Addressing the General Assembly on 21st September, US President Joe Biden tried to blame Russia squarely for the food crisis all around the world. But he largely failed to sway a continent which is bearing the brunt of Ukraine War induced food shortage with no remedy in sight.
“Let me be perfectly clear about something: Our sanctions explicitly allow Russia the ability to export food and fertilizer. No limitations” Biden told the UN.
“It’s Russia’s war that is worsening food insecurity, and only Russia can end It.”, he said. (sic)
But the aged American president forgot to divulge an important fact to the UNGA that, even if there are no limitations on Russia to export food and fertilizers, most of the shipping companies carrying out transportation of the same are non-Russian, Europe based companies who act according to the whims and fancies of their handlers in the Oval office of White House and of those in Brussels.
In a spree to paint Russia black, the US deployed its diplomatic and propaganda machinery all around the world in full force and it worked. In early March, 141 countries including 28 African countries voted to condemn Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. But later during September only 101 countries supported the Zelensky’s right to address the UN including only 7 African Nations.
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Ukraine war has augmented the food crisis in Africa
Africa suffers from many problems like terrorism, underdevelopment, poverty, high-mortality rate, and food scarcity. Increase in food prices is a great enabler of food insecurity in Africa which is already suffering from climate-change and Covid-19.
According to a report by AFD, out of 55 countries in Africa, 33 import 90% or more of their wheat for consumption. In the Maghreb region, situation is very critical, especially during festivals; Egypt imports more than 60% of its wheat for consumption, Algeria 75%, Tunisia 62%, and Morocco 38%. (ibid)
But the standoff between Russia and Ukraine brought the wheat basket of Europe to a standstill and most of the outgoing wheat shipments got disrupted. This augmented food shortage in the already dilapidated Africa.
But who is responsible for all this?
The POTUS claimed that the US’ Sanctions regime allowed the trade of food and fertilizers and put the blame squarely on Russia for food shortage. But he forgot to mention that the US has barred any shipping company from taking Russian shipments to any third country, even food. This non-allowance of Russian shipments meant that even if any product is exempted from the sanctions regime it cannot be shipped until and unless any shipping company agrees to ship the cargo.
The AU understood this and its President Macky Sall called for removal of sanctions on Russia. During a meeting in the city of Sochi, the Senegalese President Macky Sall stated, “there are two main problems: the (food) crisis and the sanctions. We must work together to solve these problems so that sanctions on food products are lifted.” https://twitter.com/jmcotza/status/1532809626680532993
The picture was clear and AU started calling out the West’s hypocrisy on the sanctions regime. African nations know that this crisis is orchestrated solely for the purpose of creating panic in the countries which in turn will pressurize Russia to end the conflict and the US will succeed in its objectives but it failed miserably.
Biden’s cunning way to shift the blame on Russia has backfired and the countries in the African continent are slipping out from the grip of the West.
The Flip-Flop of the West
According to a report by Bloomberg, the EU has taken a U-turn by allowing Russian coal and fertilizer to be shipped to third countries, which has ignited uncertainty in the insurance and shipping market that whether a chunk of oil sanctions could also be cut down after coal.
The European Union released a report recently that it will now allow coal and fertilizer to countries outside the bloc citing energy concerns. The US is now flabbergasted by the EU’s move as it is trying to sway G7 countries to support the Russian oil price cap. And if EU pivots its oil policy the same as that of coal, now, it can hamper the G7 Russian oil price cap; again it is clear that EU has done a flip-flop move by allowing the Russian coal and fertilizer. In the end Biden is fooling nobody but his own countrymen.
Africa has realized its being used as a pawn in the larger geopolitical game in the past, but now it decides to take a stand. Biden’s statements will not only harm US’ prospects but will also fuel anti-American sentiments in Africa. Thus, Biden’s appeal to Africa on Ukraine falls flat at the UN.