Nairobi — Russian Ambassador to Kenya Dmitry Maksimychev has denied reports its invasion of Ukraine is to blame for rising food prices in Africa blaming sanction imposed by western nations for the rise in commodity prices.
Speaking to Capital in the Morning on Monday, Amb. Maksimychev pointed out that the sanctions are preventing Russia from selling food products to African countries including Kenya.
"There is a new tune in the information bubble that is being played that because of Russia, Africa Will starve. I frankly cannot understand the logic because yes, we are a very big producer of food, grain, oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, all types of grain, meat, poultry and so on. We are willing to sell this produce because we are big exporters," Maksimychev said.
The Russian envoy to Kenya said that the sanctions had dealt a big blow to the financial system that made it possible for the two countries to trade.
He added that the system was affecting both countries pointing out that the system recently shut down making it impossible for the two countries to make payments for products.
Following the invasion of Ukraine by President Vladmir Putin, the European Union, the UK, US and allies resolved to ban a number of Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift), an international payment system which allows transaction of money across the globe.
The move has had a huge impact on Russia's banking sector.
Amb. Maksimychev however expressed optimism that despite the sanctions, Putin's government will still manage to find market for their products noting that there is a high demand for their products globally.
Four days earlier, Ukrainian Ambassador to Kenya Andrii Pravednyk said Russia is to blame for the increased food prices in the country, saying the conflict has negatively affected crop production.
Speaking to Capital in the Morning Ambassador Andrii Pravednyk noted that Ukraine, which is a main contributor of grain basket to most countries including Kenya, and its workers were unable to work due to the conflict, leading to increased food prices.
He noted that Kenya is a significant importer of wheat from Ukraine.