Back in Uganda, Sergei Lavrov continues his African tour | War in Ukraine

Returned to Uganda, Sergueï Lavrov continues his African tour | War in Ukraine

Before Uganda, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov traveled to Congo, where he met his counterpart Jean-Claude Gakosso.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived in Uganda, the third leg of his African tour, a spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy announced on Monday evening.

Mr. Lavrov previously visited Egypt and Congo, where he wanted to reassure his partners after the agreement on secure corridors for grain exports from Ukraine and Russia, which must ward off the risks of food insecurity in Africa.

In Entebbe, Sergei Lavrov is welcomed by his Ugandan counterpart Jeje Odongo, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote, posting a photo of the two foreign ministers on Telegram.

Entebbe, a town near Kampala, is home to the Ugandan capital's international airport. According to Russian news agency TASS, Lavrov was due to meet Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday.

Contacted by AFP on Monday, the Ugandan authorities were unable to provide further details on the program for this visit.

But on Sunday, the Ugandan government announced on its Twitter account the two-day visit of the head of Russian diplomacy.

President Yoweri Museveni, who last visited Russia in 2019, called for stronger bilateral relations, including in the areas of defense and security, economic and technical cooperation, wrote the government.

The agreement signed on Friday in Istanbul between kyiv, Moscow and Turkey, under the aegis of the UN, provides in particular for the establishment of secure corridors to allow the movement of merchant ships in the Black Sea and the export of 20 to 25 million tonnes of grain blocked in Ukraine.

90% of wheat, corn and sunflower exports from Ukraine were carried out by sea and mostly through Odessa, the main Ukrainian port in the Black Sea. However, the Russian army bombarded the port of Odessa on Saturday, the day after the signing of the agreement.

“There is nothing in the commitments made by Russia, in particular in the framework of the agreements signed on July 22 in Istanbul, which would prohibit us from continuing the special military operation, by destroying military infrastructure.

—Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister

According to Mr. Lavrov, the Russian strikes only targeted military infrastructure, a significant distance from the grain terminal.

His Congolese counterpart Jean-Claude Gakosso hailed this Russian-Ukrainian agreement as good news for Africa, recalling the neutrality of Congo-Brazzaville in this conflict.

“We didn't mean to howl with the wolves or add fuel to the fire. With friendship and respect, we ask our friends (on both sides) to have a negotiated solution in this crisis.

— Jean-Claude Gakosso, Congo's Foreign Minister

Ukraine sharply criticized Mr. Lavrov's trip to Africa on Monday, denouncing the quintessential Russian sadism through the voice of presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak.

You organize an artificial famine and then you come to comfort people. With one hand you sign the Istanbul initiative, with the other you attack the port of Odessa, he claimed.

The Russian minister must then go to Ethiopia, the last stage of his African tour, the details of which are not yet known.

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