Zelenskyy’s Aide Seeks African Solidarity against Russian War in Ukraine
President Zelenskyy’s right-hand man and Head of the President’s Office of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak has revealed in a tell-it-all interview with Nigerian leading digital news platform, Legit.ng, on June 28, 2022, that detailed the benefits Africa stands to gain by supporting Ukraine and its government in the ongoing war with Russia.
He sought to encourage bilateral relations with African countries, discussed the current impact of the war on Africa and explained how Africa’s support can greatly accelerate the restoration of food supplies to end the raging food crises on the continent.
Mr Yermak likened Ukraine’s agitation for liberation from Russia to Africa’s fight against European colonialism, and that while Africa might think she is liberated, Russia’s subsequent attack and intent to colonize will only trigger a chain reaction of chaos across Europe into Africa.
“We’re still fighting for our freedom and the right to be ourselves in our land. … Ghana and Nigeria had been independent for over 30 years when Ukraine voted for the right to self-determination. Resources were pumped out of Ukraine for over 30 years longer – including metals, grain, gas, and oil (under the USSR our oil fields were almost depleted). Knowing this, one can only laugh when they say that Russia is at war with NATO in Ukraine.”
Mr Yermak has stated that Russia has purposefully imposed a blockade on Ukrainian ports in the Black and Azov seas to prevent the export of Ukrainian food. This is already causing a rise in global food prices especially since Ukraine has traditionally been one of the main suppliers of wheat, sunflower oil, corn, and other products.
“Moscow has carried out three man-made famines that took the lives of 4 to 7 million people here [in Ukraine]. Believe me, we know very well what it’s like – and that is something we wouldn’t wish on anyone. Moreover, it’s something we’d never do to anyone. We provide food security for 400 million people around the world. But Russia has mastered this tool quite well,” he said.
When asked about the possibility of Africa being dragged into the Russian-Ukraine war, Mr Yermak said, “The aggression against Ukraine is an aggression against the whole world. It is not that I assume that Africa could be drawn into this war, I’m sure that Africa is already in it. … The combination of high inflation and production decline is the worst for Africans. Many people are losing their jobs while prices are skyrocketing. Consequently, there would be a drastic rise in crime rates, unrest, and even war will become almost inevitable.”
“It’s in the best interests of all the nations of the African continent to support the efforts to subdue and punish the aggressor. Your voice in international organisations is essential, as well as joining in the sanctions against Russia. To hasten Ukraine’s victory and the end of the war. It’s important to prevent the war from spreading to other countries and regions of the world.
And when peace comes, it’s in our mutual interest to expand our economic cooperation in order to mutually reinforce our enormous economic potential.”
In furtherance of the country’s appeal for support from the African continent, Mr Yemark expressed care for the African community of students, stating that there are plans to re-accommodate students once the war is over.
“Russia has destroyed African students’ lives, it has shelled their universities and hostels. Our higher-educational institutions continue with their online classes … But it all depends on the collective will of the governments of countries worldwide to stop the aggressor. The faster it happens, the sooner the classroom studies will resume.”
Bringing the interview to a close, Mr Yemark reiterated the country’s similarities with the African continent. “Our people are very brave. Courage is the trait we have in common with the people of Africa. We cannot be conquered with words or weapons. We always want freedom. The Ukrainian people are fighting for their freedom and are ready to continue doing so. This is the primary motivation – to expel the invaders from our land. I am sure that this is familiar and close to African people.”
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Report By: PRNigeria.com