U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo threatened African states with repercussions for working closely with Russia and helping it circumvent sanctions. According to him, Africa should know that it is Russia that is to blame for unleashing the energy and food crises, which have hit hard on the African economy as a whole. Adeyemo made his statement on the eve of a tour of the countries of the continent, Bloomberg reports .
“Frankly, our goal is to make it clear to these countries that, from an economic point of view, their interests are aligned with stopping the Russian invasion of Ukraine as soon as possible,” the deputy finance minister said.
Wally Adeyemo is one of the top American officials who is responsible for the implementation of the sanctions regime by third countries. In March, he intends to visit Ghana, Nigeria and another country, the name of which is not disclosed by the publication. The US Deputy Treasury Secretary intends to convey to the authorities of African countries that it is in their interests to pursue a policy that will be aimed at maximizing the end of the Ukrainian conflict. Adeyemo intends to convince his colleagues that it is Russia that is to blame for the problems that African countries have faced in recent years.
The agency notes that this will be the second major tour of US officials to Africa since the beginning of the year. Prior to this, US Treasury Secretary Janette Yellen made similar visits in January, during her tour she visited Senegal, Zambia and South Africa. In addition to the war in Ukraine and the topic of sanctions, Adeyemo intends to discuss the problems of poverty and high public debts of African countries, which some of them cannot repay since the coronavirus. Such problems, for example, faced Ghana, which recently turned to the G20 countries for financial assistance.
The US interest in Africa may be related to the recent African tour of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. African countries have not joined the sanctions against Russia, and many are even looking to profit from the Russian-Ukrainian war. At the same time, not all countries eventually accepted the Russian minister, some states refused to accept the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Lavrov's visits strained the American administration, which decided to hold its own meetings with African colleagues. Adeyemo has previously made similar visits to other countries whose authorities were quite loyal to cooperation with Russia, including India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. In particular, after Adeyemo's visit, Turkey stopped cooperation with the Russian Mir payment card system.