Western countries only want to promote colonial dependence in Africa, says Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a joint press conference with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President following their talks in Moscow on March 24, 2022.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has on Thursday January 26, said the United States and European countries are striving to restore African countries colonial dependence, in the process demanding that African countries not cooperate with Russia.

He was speaking to reporters following his surprise visit to Eritrea.

Lavrov said that American and European delegations have regularly demanded that African countries should stop cooperating with Russia.

“Do not get out of the general discipline, by which they, the West, understand the restoration of colonial dependence, by and large, but in a new form,” the Russian foreign minister said.

He added that Africa has been exploited for many centuries, and the West wants to maintain an exploitative policy towards the continent even today.

And in order to maintain its dominance, the West is trying to prevent the emergence of alternative sources of economic growth in the world.

“Countries are developing economically. Look at China and India... Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, and many other countries of the African continent. There, the potential for development, taking into account the colossal reserves of natural resources, is enormous,” he said.

Lavrov added:  New centers of economic growth are being formed. The West is trying to prevent this, including by speculating on the mechanisms created to serve its interests within the framework of the globalization it has created. Here the role of the dollar as a reserve currency is one of the main ones,” the minister said.

According to him, the attempts of the West to maintain its political, economic, financial, military and ideological dominance lead to the growth of "conflicts" in the world.

“The US and its satellites are betting on the power factor. They have actually destroyed the architecture of strategic stability that has been created for decades, and they are aggressively expanding the geography of military expansion.

Earlier, Lavrov confirmed Russia's commitment to food exports to Africa.

He stated that the issues of ensuring the food and energy security of Africa are on the current agenda of Moscow.

“Russia is ready to responsibly and conscientiously fulfill its obligations under international contracts regarding the export of agricultural products, fertilizers, energy carriers and other critical products, despite the opposition of European regulators. Recall that the agreement on food exports, known as the grain deal, was concluded on July 22 in Istanbul.”

The agreement, to which Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN became parties, consisted of two documents.

The first one spelt out the obligations of the UN to lift restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers to world markets, whereas the second document prescribed for the export of Ukrainian agricultural products from the Black Sea ports controlled by Kyiv along the humanitarian corridor.

However, Mr Lavrov said that soon after the passage of the first vessel under the grain deal, which took place on August 1, the Russian side had questions about compliance with the agreements.

“Later, President Vladimir Putin drew attention to this, speaking at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum on September 7.”

He said a significant part of that grain did not go to the poorest countries, but to the European Union.

Putin cited data according to which at that time only two ships out of 87 were loaded under the UN World Food Program, which implies assistance to the most needy countries.

As the president noted, "many European countries in previous decades and centuries acted as colonizers, and continue to act today." According to Putin, if the current trend continues, the scale of food problems in the world will only increase.

At the end of October last year, Putin also spoke about the problem of restrictions and bans on Russian fertilizers in Europe. The President recalled that about 300 thousand tons of fertilizers were arrested in European ports, which the Russian side is ready to give to African countries for free, but there is no such possibility.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the countries in need, including Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan and Afghanistan, received only 3% of food. The ministry also spoke again about the problem of fertilizer supplies blocked in Europe.

As specified in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, these cargoes were blocked mainly in the warehouses of Latvia (80%), Estonia, Belgium and the Netherlands, whose authorities do not allow their shipment through the UN WFP.

The reason for this, the department noted, was the unilateral sanctions of the West.

The Russian side is ready to replace the supply of Ukrainian grain, the volume of which now reaches only 2% of world production, said Oleg Ozerov, head of the secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum. The ministry also noted that, taking into account the record harvest of 2022, Russia is able to supply grain to the most needy states free of charge. Earlier, the Russian side has repeatedly drawn the attention of the world community to the fact that within the framework of the so-called grain deal, a significant part of the food goes not to the poorest countries, but to the states of Europe.

For the moment, the West still does not fulfill its promises on the access of fertilizers and agricultural products of Russia to the markets. Most of the more than 13 million tons of grain, primarily corn, went to rich countries.

Even the gratuitous transfer of Russian grain and fertilizers to the poorest countries is progressing with difficulty and delays, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. On November 28 last year, a ship with 20 thousand tons of cargo was sent from the Netherlands to Malawi. As of December 31 fertilizers arrived at the port of Mozambique. Thus, it has already taken almost five months to send only one and a small part of gratuitous fertilizers under the auspices of the UN, and the cargo has not yet reached the recipient.

Thus, from one side the United States have decided to launch a strategic partnership on food security with African countries. At least this was stated in a joint statement adopted at the end of the US-Africa summit in December 2022.

However, from the other side the US and the EU in fact, punish the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, preventing the access of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers to world markets.