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 resembling Russian oil, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations mentioned Thursday.
“Nations should purchase Russian agricultural merchandise, together with fertilizer and wheat,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield mentioned. 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 nations to not break these sanctions as a result of then … they stand the prospect of getting actions taken towards them,” she mentioned.
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 per week after the Africa go to of Sergey Lavrov, the Russian overseas minister, who dismissed prices that his nation’s invasion of Ukraine is solely liable for a harmful meals disaster in nations 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 international suppliers of wheat, barley, corn and sunflower oil, with combating within the Black Sea area, generally known as t he “breadbasket of the world,” pushing up meals costs, threatening political stability in creating nations and main nations to ban some meals exports.
Many African nations — together with some with areas which might be on the edge 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 mentioned the U.S. seeks to strengthen present partnerships in African nations resembling 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 certainly one of 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 nations on the continent of 1.3 billion folks have long-standing ties with Moscow, relationship again to the Chilly Warfare when the Soviet Union supported their anti-colonial struggles.
Museveni mentioned throughout Lavrov’s go to that Russia has been a pal to the East African nation for greater than 100 years, suggesting he felt beneath stress to assist the U.S. place on the struggle in Ukraine.