Jun 26, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

AU chair urges Ukraine to demine Odessa to ease wheat exports

Senegalese President and head of the African Union Macky Sall on Thursday urged Ukraine to clear the waters around its port of Odessa to facilitate much-needed grain exports from the war-torn country.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions have resulted in disrupted grain shipments from the two countries, raising fears of hunger around the world.

Grain prices in Africa are on the back of a slump in exports has skyrocketed, exacerbating the effects of conflict and climate change and raising fears of social unrest.

If wheat exports from Ukraine do not resume, “Africa will be in a situation of very serious famine, which could destabilize the continent,” Sall told French media France 24 and RFI.

< p>Russia and Ukraine produce 30% of the world’s wheat ebots.

But grain is stuck in Ukraine’s ports due to a Russian blockade, while Western sanctions on Moscow have halted exports from Russia.

Moscow has urged Ukraine to clear the waters around to demin the Ukr from the Chinese-controlled port of Odessa, to let out blocked grain, but Kyiv has refused for fear of a Russian attack.

Sall said Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he met last week in met Russia, I assured him that this would not happen.

“I even told him: ‘The Ukrainians said that if they clear mines, you will enter the port.’ He says no he will not step in and that is a commitment he has made,” said the Senegalese leader.

“Work must be done now to get the demining done, the United Nations are involved…so that we can start getting the Ukrainian wheat out,” he said.

Sall will meet French President Emmanuel Macron in France on Friday.

He will expected to ask to help lift EU sanctions against Russia, specifically to reverse its exclusion from the global SWIFT banking messaging system.

“Because our banks are mostly connected to European banks, they can’t be like they used to pay for Russian products”, the AU explained to Stuhl.