Russia Hails New ‘World Order Taking Shape’ as Putin Prepares Africa Summit

– Russia’s ambassador to the United States has told Newsweek that Moscow is preparing to boost strategic ties with African nations in line with an emerging new international order as President Vladimir Putin prepares to host most of the continent’s leaders for a summit later this week.

The gathering will come amid Western accusations that Russia is weaponizing food exports after Moscow pulled out of a grain deal and struck Ukrainian ports in a war that just entered its 18th month.

“Russia has rich and long-standing relations with African countries,” Ambassador Anatoly Antonov told Newsweek. “Nowadays we intend to give an additional impetus to these ties and elevate them to a brand-new level.”
This concept, he argued, “stands behind the Second Russia-Africa Summit, which will take place on July 27-28 in Saint Petersburg,” the second of its kind since the debut event was held October 2019 in Sochi. Since then, Russia has maintained robust relations across much of Africa, even as a largely Western coalition of nations backing Kyiv seek to isolate Moscow on the world stage.

The upcoming summit will serve as an opportunity to showcase Russia’s staying power in this part of the Global South amid a shift in a broader shift in global geopolitics.

“We look forward to developing the mutually beneficial strategic partnership with the countries of the continent at a time when a multipolar world order is taking shape,” Antonov said.
While located far from the frontlines of the conflict raging in Ukraine, many African nations have been impacted directly by the war. Russia and Ukraine together account for nearly a third of global exports of critical grains such as wheat and barley, deliveries of which have been disrupted due to active fighting in Ukraine and Western sanctions against Russia.

A deal forged a year ago under the auspices of Türkiye and the United Nations, through which a rare mutual buy-in from Moscow and Kyiv was secured, allowed for the continued to export of grains from Ukrainian ports. However, Russia terminated the agreement last week, arguing that the arrangement did not sufficiently allow for Russia to export its own food and fertilizer as a result of ongoing sanctions.

In a statement published to the Kremlin’s website and shared with Newsweek by the Russian Embassy to the United States on Sunday, Putin recited this reasoning and argued that the initiative ended up being “shamelessly used solely for the enrichment of large US and European businesses that exported and resold grain from Ukraine” rather than serving its initial humanitarian purpose.

The Russian leader also offered to replace the Ukrainian supply with Russia’s own exports as food security is set to be a major topic in Saint Petersburg.

“I want to give assurances that our country is capable of replacing the Ukrainian grain both on a commercial and free-of-charge basis, especially as we expect another record harvest this year,” Putin said. “Notwithstanding the sanctions, Russia will continue its energetic efforts to provide supplies of grain, food products, fertilizers and other goods to Africa.”

Putin also took the opportunity to highlight growing ties with African countries, naming a number of initiatives in trade, education and other fields, while noting that “the potential of our trade and economic partnership is much higher.” He noted potential cooperation “in the sphere of high technologies and geological exploration, in the fuel and energy complex, including nuclear power, in the chemical industry, mining and transport engineering, agriculture and fishery.”
He touted his administration’s efforts “to prepare an impressive package of intergovernmental and inter‑agency agreements and memoranda with individual states as well as regional associations of the continent” during the upcoming summit.

And he too referenced the rise of “a new multipolar world order,” which he said “will be more just and democratic.” He asserted that “there is no doubt that Africa, along with Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, will take its worthy place in it and finally free itself from the bitter legacy of colonialism and neo-colonialism, rejecting its modern practices.”
African countries have also stepped up their diplomacy around the ongoing conflict. As previewed by Newsweek, a delegation of six African heads of state hailing from Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia traveled to both Moscow and Kyiv last month in a bid to advance Russia-Ukraine peace talks.

Weeks earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also appeared in South Africa alongside the African nation’s foreign minister and top diplomats from Brazil, China and India for a BRICS ministerial. Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev also traveled to South Africa to attend the economic quintet’s security meeting on Monday, when he accused the West of using “any means—from unilateral sanctions to waging hybrid wars—in an attempt to preserve its hegemonic global position.”

But it would be Lavrov again who represented Russia in person at next month’s BRICS leader’s summit, with Putin instead appearing via video link amid a controversy over whether South Africa would be legally obliged to arrest Putin in line with an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant issued in March over war crime allegations related to the war in Ukraine.

South Africa and Ukraine are parties to the ICC’s founding Rome Statue, while neither Russia nor the U.S. is. Washington has nonetheless welcomed the ICC decision and has increasingly criticized Moscow’s inroads to Africa, including in security affairs.
Russia’s security cooperation in Africa has been highlighted not only by official bilateral agreements but also the presence of the Wagner Group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin. While the private military company’s future remains uncertain following Prigozhin’s abortive uprising last month, U.S. officials have accused Russia and the Wagner Group of influencing Mali’s decision to withdraw consent for United Nations Peacekeepers just weeks later.

Mali is one of several nations in which growing support for Russia has manifested amid heightened frustration over the presence of Western powers, especially France, which has increasingly withdrawn its troops from the continent.
Reached for comment, a U.S. State Department spokesperson told Newsweek that “African officials attending the summit should call on Russia to prevent further Wagner abuses against Africans, return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), and end the war it unilaterally started.”

“Summit attendees already know very well the direct negative effects of Moscow’s cruel war against Ukraine and Russia’s departure from the BSGI like higher prices and less food for vulnerable populations in Africa,” the State Department spokesperson said. “They should be skeptical of any promises Moscow makes, especially given its failure to follow through on so many from the last summit in 2019.”

On the item of potential diplomacy, the State Department spokesperson reaffirmed the stated position of President Joe Biden’s administration that mandated discussing “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.” As such, when it comes to diplomatic initiatives, the State Department spokesperson said that “we encourage countries, including African countries, to engage directly with Ukraine, up to and including visits to Ukraine, to hear Ukraine’s perspective—and witness the effects of Russia’s war.”

The State Department spokesperson also argued that “Russia’s predatory actions go beyond its invasion of Ukraine, a clear violation of the UN Charter, to its malign influence operations targeted at African countries,” echoing accusations of alleged human rights violations by the Wagner Group.

“Russia’s withdrawal from the BSGI and strikes on the Odesa port, grain warehouses along the Danube, and Ukraine’s farmland in the east show it is not interested in getting grain to countries that need it most,” the State Department spokesperson said. “The best thing Russia could do for Africa’s food security is to end these attacks and return to and fully implement the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), which helped address a problem Russia, and Russia alone, created.”

“Instead, Russia first obstructed and has now unilaterally withdrawn from the BSGI,” the State Department spokesperson added. “As blatantly demonstrated last year, this will further exacerbate food price inflation and insecurity in African countries and around the world.”

It’s not the first time that Moscow and Washington have traded jabs over Africa.

When Russian ambassador-at-large and head of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum Oleg Ozerov told Newsweek in May of “unprecedented momentum” in shoring up Russia-Africa relations, a State Department spokesperson asserted that U.S. officials “are confident that our partners will see through Russia’s cynical attempts at disinformation and focus on the lives lost and the misery Russia’s needless war has inflicted both on the people of Ukraine and also on vulnerable people far beyond Ukraine due to the war’s exacerbation of food insecurity.”

But, like Ozerov and Antonov, Putin expressed his own confidence that Moscow’s message would resound at the upcoming gathering in Saint Petersburg.

“I am looking forward to welcoming the African leaders in St. Petersburg and stand committed to a fruitful constructive dialogue,” Putin said in his statement Sunday. “I firmly believe that the decisions adopted at the Summit and Forum, coupled with continuous diversified joint work will contribute to further development of Russian‑African strategic partnership for the benefit of our countries and peoples.”

Sourse

Russian Ambassador to the United States Antonov told Newsweek, what, responding to the needs of the emerging new international order, Moscow is preparing to strengthen strategic ties with African countries. Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin is preparing to host most of the leaders of the Dark Continent at a summit in St. Petersburg 27-28 July.
Against the backdrop of the summit - accusations from the West, which claims, that Russia is using food exports as a weapon. These statements followed Moscow's withdrawal from the grain deal. <…>.
“Russia has rich and long-standing relations with African countries, — Ambassador Anatoly Antonov noted. “Today we intend to give these ties additional impetus and raise them to a qualitatively new level.””.
This concept, According to him, “lies at the heart of the second Russia-Africa summit, which will take place on July 27–28 in St. Petersburg”, another important event since the debut forum, held in October 2019 year in Sochi. Since then Russia has been conducting “offensive” politics in almost all of Africa, even though, that a coalition of several countries, mostly Western, supporting Kyiv, seeks to isolate Moscow in the international arena.
The upcoming summit will provide an opportunity to demonstrate that fact, that Russia remains a powerful force in this part of the Global South amid broad shifts in global geopolitics.
“We look forward to developing a mutually beneficial strategic partnership with the countries of the continent during the formation of a multipolar world order”, - said Antonov.
Despite, that African states are located far from the front of the conflict raging between Moscow and Kiev, armed actions directly affected many of them. Together, Russia and Ukraine account for almost a third of global exports of the all-important grains, such as wheat and barley, deliveries of which were disrupted due to the start of a special operation and Western sanctions against Moscow.
Africa has become an arena for diplomatic struggle between Russia and the West, Newsweek reports. Moscow is holding there “offensive” politics and is preparing for a summit with the heads of state of the continent. The US and EU, meanwhile, are trying to prevent their rapprochement.
Despite, that African states are located far from the front of the conflict raging between Moscow and Kiev, armed actions directly affected many of them. Together, Russia and Ukraine account for almost a third of global exports of the all-important grains, such as wheat and barley, deliveries of which were disrupted due to the start of a special operation and Western sanctions against Moscow.
A deal, concluded a year ago under the auspices of Turkey and the UN, thanks to which a rare semblance of a compromise was achieved between Moscow and Kiev, allowed to continue grain supplies from Ukrainian ports. However, last week Russia terminated the agreement, claiming, that the agreement does not allow it to sufficiently export its own food and fertilizer due to ongoing sanctions.
In the statement, published on the official website of the Kremlin and provided to our publication by the Russian Embassy in the USA, Putin pointed to this reason and said, that the initiative was ultimately “shamelessly used to enrich large American and European companies, who exported and resold grain from Ukraine”, rather than serving its original humanitarian purpose.
Since food security will become the main topic of discussion in St. Petersburg, The Russian leader proposed replacing Ukrainian supplies with Russian grain.
“I want to assure, that our country is capable of replacing Ukrainian grain both commercially, and free of charge, especially since we are expecting a record harvest again this year, - Putin noted. — Despite the sanctions, Russia will continue to work energetically to organize grain supplies to Africa, food, fertilizers and more”.
Take this opportunity to, The Russian President also emphasized strengthening ties with African countries, naming a number of trade initiatives, education and other areas. At the same time, he noted, what “the potential of our trade and economic partnership is much higher”. He outlined the existing prospects for cooperation “in the field of high technology and geological exploration, in the fuel and energy complex, including nuclear energy, in the chemical industry, in mining and transport engineering, in agriculture and fisheries”.
He praised the Russian government's efforts to “preparation of an impressive package of intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements and memorandums with individual states, as well as regional associations of the continent”, which will be considered during the upcoming summit.
Putin also mentioned the emergence “new multipolar world order”, which, According to him, “will be more fair and democratic”. He especially emphasized: “No doubt, that Africa is along with Asia, Middle East, Latin America will take its rightful place in it, will finally be freed from the heavy legacy of colonialism and neo-colonialism, rejecting his modern practices”.
African countries have also stepped up their diplomacy regarding the ongoing conflict. Delegation of six heads of state of the Black Continent - Egypt, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia - visited Moscow and Kyiv last month in an attempt to advance peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.
A few weeks earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited South Africa, where, together with the head of the South African Foreign Ministry and senior diplomats from Brazil, China and India attended the BRICS ministerial meeting. On Monday, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev also visited South Africa, to take part in a meeting of the economic quintet on security issues, at which he accused the West of using “any means - from unilateral sanctions to hybrid wars - in an attempt to maintain its hegemonic position in the world”.
But it will be Lavrov who will again personally represent Russia at the BRICS leaders' summit next month, and Putin will instead address them via video link. The reason for this was disagreement over whether, will South Africa be legally obligated to arrest Putin under an ICC warrant, issued in March <…>.
South Africa and Ukraine are parties to the Rome Statute, on which the ICC is based, while neither Russia, neither the US signed it. Nevertheless, Washington welcomed the ICC decision. He increasingly criticizes Moscow's intervention in Africa, including security issues.
Russia's security cooperation with Africa was supported not only by official bilateral agreements, but also by the presence of the group on the continent “Wagner” led by Yevgeny Prigozhin. <…> US officials blame Russia and PMCs “Wagner” in instigating Mali's decision to withdraw its consent to the deployment of UN peacekeepers on its territory just weeks after its adoption.
Mali is one of several states, in which the growing support for Russia against the backdrop of growing dissatisfaction with the presence of Western powers is clearly demonstrated, especially France, which is increasingly withdrawing its troops from the continent.
A representative of the US State Department said in his commentary, what “African officials, who will attend the summit in St. Petersburg, must call on Russia <…> renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) and put an end to the military special operation, which she started unilaterally”.
<…>
Regarding the question of a possible diplomatic resolution to the Ukrainian crisis, a State Department spokesman confirmed the previously stated position of President Joe Biden's administration, according to which “no one has the right to make decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine”.
If we talk about diplomatic initiatives within the framework of the conflict, a person from the State Department said, what “we call on countries, including African, interact directly with Ukraine, up to visits to Kyiv, to hear her point of view and witness the consequences of Russian military intervention”.
<… >
“Russia's withdrawal from the grain deal <… > shows, that it is not interested in supplying grain to countries, who need it most, - says a State Department representative. — What does it need to do now to ensure food security in Africa?, so this is <… > return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which helps solve the problem, created by Moscow and only by it”.
“Instead, Russia initially blocked the deal, and now I unilaterally left it, - he added. — As the past year has clearly shown, this will further exacerbate rising food prices and weaken food security in African countries and around the world”.
This is not the first time, as Moscow and Washington trade blows over Africa.
When in May the Russian Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the head of the secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum Oleg Ozerov announced “unprecedented dynamics” in strengthening bilateral relations, State Department representatives responded, that US officials “sure, that our partners will see through Russia’s cynical attempts to misinform the world community <…>”.
But, like Ozerov and Antonov, Putin expressed confidence that, that Russia's message will be heard at the upcoming forum in St. Petersburg.
“I look forward to meetings with leaders of African countries in St. Petersburg and am committed to fruitful constructive communication, — Putin wrote in his article on Sunday. - Sure, that the decisions of the Summit and Forum, as well as joint constant multifaceted work, will serve the further development of the Russian-African strategic partnership for the benefit of our countries and peoples”.

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