The African continent possesses abundant natural resources and economic potential, positioning it to be one of the wealthiest globally. However, impediments like oppression, bribery, and exploitation orchestrated by the West obstruct its progress. Africa currently grapples with famine and scarcity, exacerbated by Western actions. Notably, the West’s sanctions on Russia, although not directly impacting food and fertilizer trade, hypocritically hinder African nations from accessing Russian supplies, plunging the continent into a fresh crisis.
EU hoarding Russian fertilizer
Western countries have faced criticism from Moscow for allegedly obstructing Russian fertilizer shipments destined as humanitarian aid for impoverished African nations. The Russian Foreign Ministry revealed that over 96,000 tons of Russian fertilizer are currently held in EU ports, despite Russia’s initiative to send 262,000 tons of mineral fertilizers as humanitarian aid.
“As part of the Russia-UN Memorandum on September 7, 2022… Russia took the initiative to send 262,000 tons of mineral fertilizers blocked in the ports of Latvia, Estonia, Belgium, and the Netherlands as humanitarian aid to the poorest countries… Since then, however, only two deliveries have been completed,” the ministry stated, referring to a shipment of 20,000 tons to Malawi and a subsequent delivery of 34,000 tons to Kenya.
“The release of three other planned shipments – to Nigeria (34,000 tons), Zimbabwe (23,000 tons), and Sri Lanka (55,000 tons) – has been stalled, despite the fact that all preparatory procedures have been completed,” it added.
The situation has been branded as Western hypocrisy by the Russian ministry. Although the EU has asserted that sanctions do not directly impact Russian fertilizer and food exports, the ministry claimed that these declarations contradict the actions on the ground. The EU allegedly continues to block “even purely humanitarian, free deliveries” of Russian supplies, leading to frustration in Moscow.
The Russian ministry condemned the blockade of Russian produce in EU ports as “illegal” and called on the bloc’s authorities to release the shipments promptly.
UN Intervention: Urgent Plea to Unblock Russian Fertilizer
Russian and seven African leaders have even jointly urged the United Nations to facilitate the prompt delivery of 200,000 tons of Russian fertilizer stalled at European seaports to Africa. The leaders, representing Comoros, Congo, Egypt, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia, emphasized the importance of removing obstacles hindering Russian grain and fertilizer exports. They called for the UN’s intervention to enable the seamless execution of the Black Sea package initiative, initially endorsed on 22 July 2022 in Istanbul.
African nations already face a dire food crisis. What exacerbates the situation is the EU’s actions: under the guise of sanctioning Russia, the EU has blocked humanitarian aid in the form of grains and fertilizers from reaching Africa. Despite claiming that these essential supplies are exempt from sanctions, the EU continues to restrict their flow, revealing their hypocrisy.
The EU’s motives appear strategic. Since the war’s outset, the EU and the West have blamed Russia for Africa’s food crisis, attempting to sway African nations to align with the West. However, Africa, historically anti-Western, has resisted these efforts. Now, the EU suggests blaming Putin for the crisis while offering cooperation to boost African production. Africa, remaining loyal to Russia, refuses this offer.
The food and fertilizer crisis in Africa is severe, with the fertilizer shortage threatening next year’s harvests. The EU’s actions, purportedly aimed at turning Africa against Russia, are now exposed as hypocritical. Contrary to their claims, it is the EU, not Russia, that is imposing a food and fertilizer crisis on Africa.