June 19, 2024

Ukraine grain deal: Uganda FM meets Russia rep over plight of African nations


Uganda’s foreign minister has held a top-level meeting with Russia’s Sergei Lavrov over the Ukraine black sea grain deal.

In the meeting which took place in Moscow on Thursday, Jeje Odongo told a joint news conference that he had urged parties involved to consider the plight of “many African countries, who depend on grain for wheat and bread.”

“Quite a number of African countries, particularly in the northern part of Africa, depend on grain, particularly for wheat and bread. We understand their plight. But we think whatever should be done, should be done in the interests of those in need and not to use their need to the advantage of others,” Odongo said at the news conference.

Sergey Lavrov however said the next two months would help decide the fate of a deal which allows Ukraine to ship grain through the Black Sea.

“Of course, we would like to understand what specific initiatives (South African) President Ramaphosa and his African colleagues, including Uganda’s President (Yoweri) Museveni, would like to come up with in order to discuss with us. We are open, as I have said many times, to any serious and engaged proposals from any state.” Lavrov said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said Moscow had agreed to extend the agreement for two months.

Russia had set a Thursday deadline for its concerns to be ironed out or had threatened to bow out, but neither Moscow nor Erdogan immediately commented on any concessions the Russians may have received.

Lavrov also commented on an initiative by South Africa’s president to broker peace, saying Russia was open to any “serious and engaged proposals.”

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