Russia says West putting ‘unprecedented pressure’ on African countries

Russia says West putting ‘unprecedented pressure’ on African countries

Western countries do not allow African countries to ‘independently choose partners for expanding cooperation,’ says Kremlin spokesman

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - The Kremlin on Tuesday said that Western countries, notably the US and France, are putting “unprecedented pressure” on African countries with the intention to prevent their participation in the upcoming Russia-Africa Summit.

“Other Western missions are also trying to contribute their share to these efforts in order to try to prevent the holding of this summit, to prevent the representation of African states at this summit,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists during a press briefing.

Peskov said that the policy being pursued by the US, France and other Western states “should be condemned and it is worth being condemned.”

“In fact, they deny African countries the sovereign right to choose partners both for expanding cooperation and interaction across various domains and for discussing pressing issues,” he said.

Peskov also said that it is "more important than ever” for Russia to get together with African countries and continue dialogue, which he said will be discussed during the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg on July 27-28.

Meanwhile, in response to a question on proposals by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Peskov said that it is “impossible” to return to the grain deal because it is not being implemented.

“(Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin made it clear that Russia is ready to immediately resume the deal as soon as it is implemented," he added.

On July 17, Russia suspended its participation in the Black Sea grain deal, saying the Russian part of the agreement was not implemented. It sought the loosening of banking restrictions and the ability to ship its fertilizer before returning to the agreement.

The agreement, initially signed in July of last year in Istanbul by Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine, was aimed at resuming grain exports from Ukrainian ports halted due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which began in February 2022.

Türkiye has said Western countries should try to address Russia's complaints, and that it hopes Russia returns to the deal.

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