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US Sanctions on Russia Not Responsible for High Commodity Prices-Envoy

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While the prices of cereals, oil, spices, sugar, vegetables and other several other food items and basic necessities of life have gone through the roof, the rates of petrol and diesel have increased to above 6,000 Shillings a litre, an all-time high for fuel products in Uganda.
05 Aug 2022 07:30
Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield left franked by US Amb to Uganda Natalie Brown

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America's sanctions on Russia are not to blame for the increasing prices of food and petroleum products across the globe, the United States of America's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said.

The world has recorded a sharp rise in prices of essential commodities coupled with a steep hike in fuel prices over the past few months, a trend which has made life difficult especially for developing countries. While the prices of cereals, oil, spices, sugar, vegetables and other several other food items and basic necessities of life have gone through the roof, the rates of petrol and diesel have increased to above 6,000 Shillings a litre, an all-time high for fuel products in Uganda. 

Recently Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of triggering a global economic crisis and a wave of ruinous inflation by imposing on Russia the most severe sanctions in recent history over the conflict in Ukraine. The sanctions followed a Russian-led special military operation in Ukraine.

According to Putin, the sanctions were fomenting a global crisis that would trigger famine for some of the world’s poorest countries. “The blame for this lies entirely with the elites of Western countries who are ready to sacrifice the rest of the world to maintain their global dominance,” Putin said at a televised government meeting on the economy.

Similarly, the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists during a press conference at State House in Entebbe last week that American and other Western powers’ sanctions on his country were responsible for the skyrocketing prices of oil and food especially cereals across the globe.

Lavrov said although the West never sanctioned agricultural products including fertilisers, they sanctioned banks and insurance companies which makes it hard for Russia to trade with other countries.

However, Greenfield told a selected group of journalists at the residence of the United States Ambassador to Uganda, that it’s wrong to blame the United States for the skyrocketing food prices instead of Russia which attacked Ukraine earlier this year.

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As a way to support Uganda to deal with food insecurity, Greenfield announced that they will be providing USD 20 million on top of the regular US support. This support she said is targeting at least 4350,00people across the country.  

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Greenfield also deflated a question that she was visiting Uganda to court Museveni not to side with Russia after Lavrov’s visit. She instead said the trip to Africa that will also see her also visit Ghana and Cape Verde tomorrow was earlier planned and couldn’t be cancelled simply because Lavrov had visited.

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On why the United States continues to deal with President Museveni despite numerous concerns over democracy deficiencies and human rights violations, Greenfield said their policy is to engage with any African leader. She said this is the only way that their concerns will be put across. She said although she recognises Museveni’s role in the security of the Great Lakes region, they nonetheless push him on those values that the United States believes in.   

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