Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, denied suggestions that his country was to blame for the world food crisis while on a diplomatic offensive in Egypt.
In a Cairo address to Arab League ambassadors, he claimed that Western countries were misrepresenting the effects of sanctions on world food security.
He charged that the Western world was attempting to impose its supremacy on others.
Grain shortages brought on by Russia’s war in Ukraine are severely affecting a large portion of the Arab world and Africa.
After Russia struck targets in the port of Odesa on Saturday, a historic agreement to restore Ukraine’s grain shipments is in jeopardy.
After that, Mr. Lavrov would travel to three African countries to mobilize support amid opposition to the war.
According to Mr. Lavrov, the “aggressiveness” with which Western countries have imposed sanctions against Russia points to one obvious conclusion: “It is not about Ukraine, it is about the future of the global order.
“They claim that everyone must support a world order based on rules and that these rules are designed based on the particular issues that the West wishes to settle in its favor.”
Before that, Mr. Lavrov spoke with Sameh Shoukry, his Egyptian colleague.
Russia has strong links with Egypt and provides wheat, weaponry, and – before the invasion of Ukraine – a significant amount of visitors.
In a joint news conference following their discussions, Mr. Lavrov claimed that the West was prolonging the conflict despite knowing “what and whose end it will be.”
For Mr. Lavrov, it is the beginning of a quick trip to Africa that will also take him to Ethiopia, Uganda, and Congo-Brazzaville.
Before his journey, local newspapers published a piece by Mr. Lavrov in which he claimed that his nation had “sincerely helped Africans in their struggle for emancipation from the colonial yoke.”
Russia valued the “balanced approach” taken by Africans on the Ukrainian crisis, he continued.
According to the African Development Bank, more than 40% of Africa’s wheat is typically supplied by Ukraine and Russia.
Wheat from Ukraine is typically heavily consumed in Egypt. It imported 3.62 million tonnes of it in 2019, more than any other nation.
However, Mr. Lavrov refuted the charge that Russia was “exporting starvation” in his article and attributed it to Western propaganda.
He continued by saying that the coronavirus pandemic had caused “bad trends” in the global food market, which had been compounded by Western sanctions against Russia.