The grain agreement in Istanbul does not prohibit Russia from carrying out a special operation in Ukraine and destroying military targets. This was stated during a visit to the Congo by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. So, according to him, the objects in the Odessa port, which were previously hit with a precision strike, posed a threat to the Black Sea Fleet. At the same time, civilian infrastructure that can be used to export grain was not damaged.
In hot Africa, in fact, at the equator, Sergey Lavrov was given a warm welcome. But the point, of course, is not in geography, but in the nature of relations between Russia and the Republic of the Congo, which are very close at all levels.
Negotiations with President Denis Sassou Nguesso. He headed the republic back in 1979, knew all the Soviet general secretaries starting with Brezhnev, left his post in the 1990s, and then, after a series of upheavals in the republic, again headed the country. Lavrov conveyed a message from Russian leader Vladimir Putin to the president, and the negotiators discussed issues on the bilateral and international agenda.
Among the traditional hot topics in Africa is the availability of food. The grain deal concluded in Istanbul is in force, and the subsequent strike by Russian high-precision Caliber missiles on targets in the port of Odessa does not violate the agreement, Lavrov explained.
“There is nothing in the obligations that Russia assumed, including within the framework of the agreements signed on July 22 in Istanbul, which would prohibit us from continuing a special military operation, destroying military infrastructure and other military targets,” the Russian Foreign Minister noted. were a Ukrainian navy gunboat and an ammunition depot where Harpoon anti-ship missiles were recently delivered to pose a threat to the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Now these Harpoons pose no threat.”
Maximum attention to Lavrov’s statements, including due to the fact that this is generally the first visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to the Congo since the formation of the republic in 1958 and its independence from France. Soviet specialists were actively building schools, houses and hospitals here, and the Congolese were also building a new society.
During this time, more than 8,000 Congolese students have received education in our universities. One of them is now the Minister of Foreign Affairs – Jean-Claude Gakoso studied in Leningrad.
“Life was wonderful. I went to the theater, the Kirov Theatre. The Hermitage was like my home. Do you remember The Bronze Horseman? I love you, Peter’s creation!” he shared his memories.
On most issues, opinions do indeed coincide, countries often vote in solidarity in the UN. Lavrov called Congo’s position on Ukraine balanced and responsible.
“From the very beginning, we didn’t want to scream with the wolves, we didn’t want to add fuel to the fire. We wanted to appeal to both sides, so that with respect and the friendly ties that exist, seek solutions through negotiations,” said Gakoso.
The negotiations made it possible to sign a grain deal, the fulfillment of which is not threatened by anything from the Russian side.
“Unbiased experts confirmed what we have been talking about from the very beginning: that the grain terminal of the Odessa port is located at a considerable distance from the military unit. There are no obstacles to start delivering grain to customers in accordance with the agreements signed in Istanbul. And we did not create them,” the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry assured.
Lavrov was asked to comment on statements from Poland that Russia must lose, and then Ukraine will join the “world of free countries.”
“You know, I’m not only tired, but I don’t really enjoy the comments on those statements that certain Western politicians make several times a day. All this more and more resembles the image that was created in Russian classical literature and which is called a “pique vest,” Lavrov said.
“How free the world into which the Polish leadership wants to drag Ukraine is, I think, becomes clear with every passing day, when the whole of Europe has unquestioningly submitted to the dictates of the United States, is fulfilling the will of Washington to enormous damage to its own economy, to its own social sphere. Here is such is the free world, it has a price,” the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.
Not a single country in Africa supported Western anti-Russian sanctions. Russia and the Congo agreed to build up military-technical cooperation and develop business contacts in the fields of energy, transport and telecommunications. The next stop on Sergey Lavrov’s big African tour is Uganda.