The Global South media on the war in Ukraine (09.06 – 16.06)
- Perspectives on conflict resolution
Kompas, an Indonesian national newspaper, published on June 15 the article “Regarding the Russia-Ukraine Peace Proposal, Prabowo acknowledges that he “followed” Jokowi’s steps”, concerning the debates around peace plan proposed by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
“The Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto made an observation regarding the reaction on his proposals on establishing truce between Russia and Ukraine, which were rejected later. Prabowo said he did not mind the rejection. “Either your suggestion is accepted, or it is not accepted, there should be no problem. I don’t think it’s a principal issue,” Prabowo said when asked by press during his visit to the Indonesian-aircraft Industries in Bandung.”
“Prabowo revealed that he deliberately proposed the plan to end the war between Russia at the forum attended by a number of defense ministers from other countries. According to him, this forum is often used as an arena to attack other countries”.
“Prabowo is convinced that he made a breakthrough by proposing a peace plan. However, he said, many countries frowned on Indonesia. Such a reaction might show that some countries feel like, ‘Why does Indonesia have the courage to propose’. It seems to be the reason why Indonesia has been always disparaged,” said Prabowo.”
“Prabowo then reminded about the acrions of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) who had visited Kyiv and Moscow in an attempt to stop the ongoing war. He said Jokowi was leading in the international efforts to restore peace between Russia and Ukraine. “Yes, I, as his minister, and I have to follow up. That’s my duty,” he said. “But bear in mind that this is the election year, and I happen to be one of those expected to become a presidential candidate, so whatever I say will cause the public reaction, there will be pros and cons, that’s normal. There’s no problem,” said Prabowo. This proposal was conveyed by Prabowo at the 20th IISSS Shangri-La Dialogue forum in Singapore, an interstate security conference attended by ministers and delegates from more than 50 countries. In his speech, Prabowo put forward a number of suggestions to stop the war between Russia and Ukraine.”
“First, a truce between the two warring sides. Second, the withdrawal of each country’s troops to create a demilitarized zone within a 15-kilometer radius from the ceasefire point. This demilitarized zone, according to Prabowo, must be secured and monitored by the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping force. Third, Prabowo proposed that the UN organize a referendum for residents in the disputed regions to allow them to make a choice: whether they want to join Ukraine or Russia. Later, Kyiv rejected Prabowo’s proposal. Prabowo’s proposal was considered to be more inclined to Russia’s benefit despite that Russia launched the invasion. “It sounds like a Russian proposal, not an Indonesian one. We don’t need mediators like this coming to us (with) this strange plan,” said Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, as quoted by AFP. Meanwhile, the Russia’s representatives have not yet commented on this”. https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2023/06/15/17372841/soal-proposal-perdamaian-rusia-ukraina-prabowo-mengaku-follow-up-langkah
(Translated from Indonesian by Google Translate)
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), a public broadcaster in South Africa, published on its website on June 15 the article “President Ramaphosa leads African delegation to Ukraine-Russia for peace settlement”, concerned the peace mission of African leasers.
“The Ukrainian government says it is looking forward to receiving the delegation of six African heads in Kyiv on its peace mission. President Cyril Ramaphosa is part of the delegation en route to war-torn Ukraine to help find a solution and a peace settlement to the over-a-year conflict. Ramaphosa, accompanied by other six African heads of state from the Republic of Congo, Senegal, Uganda, Egypt, Zambia and the Island of Comoros, is expected to meet with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
But the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dymtro Kuleba says they will not be dictated to. “What I did hear about is that a group of African leaders want to come to Kyiv and to Moscow and I don’t know where Putin the aggressor wants to host them and they want to talk and so if we are talking about this mission as a peace plan then I am aware of it and we are looking forward to hosting these presidents Kyiv and we see value in talking with them. First, any peace initiative should respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine and should not employ even in between the lines any cessation of Ukraine’s land to Russia and second any peace plan should not lead to the freezing of the conflict.”.
Africanews, a pan-African multilingual news network, published on its website on June 15 the article “An African mediation mission will visit Russia and Ukraine”, devoted to the goals of the African peace mission to Kyiv and Moscow.
“African leaders seeking to help bring an end to the war agreed on Monday to a mediation mission to Russia and Ukraine in mid-June, the South African presidency announced on Tuesday. Last month, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had indicated that his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky, had agreed to host this peace mission made up of six African leaders. They met virtually on Monday and “agreed to propose elements” to Russia and Ukraine “for a ceasefire and lasting peace in the region”, said a statement from the South African president’s office. “The (African) heads of state confirmed their readiness to visit Ukraine and Russia in mid-June”, it added, without giving a precise date. The foreign ministers of the six countries in question will “finalize the elements of a roadmap to peace”, the statement said. Monday’s meeting “confirmed that we are now at a stage where we are going to go to Kiev and Moscow”, Mr. Ramaphosa then declared at a joint press conference with his Portuguese counterpart, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. “Our mission is a mission of peace, and we want to call it a path to peace”, added the South African president, adding that African leaders would “seek a commitment from both sides that they too should seek (…) to end this conflict by peaceful means”.”
“The Russian and Ukrainian leaders “must explain to us their point of view on the war as well as their minimum requirements to end the conflict”, he also argued. “We will be able to give our own point of view as Africans on how we perceive the impact of this war on Africa in terms of food prices, grain prices and fuel prices, as well as on Europe and the rest of the world because it has become a rather globalized type of conflict,” Ramaphosa also said. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who thanked Mr. Ramaphosa for his role in the initiative, stressed the importance of “listening to both sides and telling them what the African vision is of a war that is not just a European war, it’s a globalized war.
The members of the mission, identified last month by the South African president, include the leaders of Congo-Brazzaville, Egypt, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia. The Head of State of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani, attended Monday’s meeting in his capacity as current Chairman of the African Union. Africa has been hard hit by rising grain prices and the impact of the war between Russia and Ukraine on world trade.” https://www.africanews.com/2023/06/15/an-african-mediation-mission-will-visit-russia-and-ukraine/
- Economic problems caused by the war in Ukraine
The Point, a Gambian daily newspaper, published on June 9, the article “Gambia relies heavily on imports”, concerning the remarks of President Barrow on the economic problems caused by rising global prices.
“President Adama Barrow has said The Gambia“heavily relies on imports”, particularly food commodities. The Gambian leader made this statement on Thursday when he was delivering the State of the Nation Address at the National Assembly in Banjul. “The Gambia relies heavily on imports for the consumption of basic commodities, including wheat and maize from Ukraine,” he said. “This means that the disruption in supply chains, which led to shortages in supply, translated into strong inflationary pressures on the economy.”
“According to him, the increase in global oil prices put pressure on government and forced them to subsidize fuel to lower the high pump prices that had a negative impact on domestic revenue mobilization and the 2022 National Budget. He also said that the government “channels its development endeavors through the public sectors’ policies, projects and programmes they execute.” “Operational matters, management, and administrative functions are not given prominence, except where they have a direct bearing on administration’s performance or have consequences of national interest,” he pointed out, saying: “My deliberation centers on such interventions, as well as bilateral and multilateral engagement and events of special relevance.” He added that national development, especially in developing countries, could not be discussed without reference to the pressure that global events and trends bring to bear on low-income nations.” https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/gambia-relies-heavily-on-imports-barrow
The Hindu, an Indian English-language daily newspaper, published on June 16 the article “India, China bought 80% of Russia’s oil in May: International Energy Agency”, devoted to the reasons of increasing import of Russian oil.
“India has increased purchases from almost nothing to close to 2 million barrels per day, while China has raised liftings to 2.2 million barrels per day. With Europe banning import and G7 imposing shipping restrictions on Russian oil, more than 90% of the product is now headed to Asia, with India’s imports of Russian oil being 14% higher than in April”.
“India and China, the world’s top oil users, continued to lap up heavily discounted Russian crude oil, buying as much as 80% of the oil that Moscow exported in May, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report. “Heavily discounted Russian crude oil has found new buyers primarily in Asia. India has increased purchases from almost nothing to close to 2 million barrels per day, while China has raised liftings by 5,00,000 barrels per day to 2.2 million barrels per day,” the Paris-based energy agency said in its latest Oil Market Report. https://www.thehindu.com/business/india-china-bought-80-of-russias-oil-in-may-international-energy-agency/article66975192.ece
Dawn, an Indian English-language daily newspaper, published on June 12 the article “Pakistan’s Russian crude shipment paid in Chinese currency: minister”, concerning the economic shift, of Pakistan, started by decision to increase import of Russian oil.
“Pakistan paid for its first government-to-government import of Russian crude in Chinese currency, State Minister for Petroleum Musadik Malik said on Monday — a significant shift in its US dollar-dominated export payments policy. The first cargo of discounted Russian crude oil arranged under a new deal struck between Islamabad and Moscow arrived in Karachi on Sunday. It is currently being offloaded at the port. Malik, talking to Reuters by phone, did not disclose the commercial details of the deal, including pricing or the discount that Pakistan received, but said the payment was made in Chinese currency. He said the purchase, Pakistan’s first government-to-government (G2G) deal with Russia, consisted of 100,000 tonnes, of which 45,000 tonnes had docked at Karachi port and the rest was on its way. The purchase was made back in April.”
“Malik played down concerns around the financial viability and concerns about the ability of local refineries to process Russian crude given the South Asian country’s historical importation of Middle Eastern petroleum products. “We’ve run iterations of various product mixes, and in no scenario will the refining of this crude make a loss,” Malik said, adding, “We are very sure it will be commercially viable.” “No adjustments (were) needed at the refinery to refine the Russian crude,” the minister told Reuters”.
“Last year, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had announced that the country was considering buying discounted Russian oil, pointing out that neighbour India had been purchasing oil from Moscow and Islamabad also had a right to explore the possibility.
Subsequently, Malik had flown to Moscow for talks on issues including oil and gas supplies after which the government announced that it would purchase discounted crude oil, petrol, and diesel from Russia. In January 2023, a Russian delegation arrived in Islamabad for talks to finalise the deal. During the three-day meeting, the countries decided to address all technical issues — insurance, transportation and payment mechanism — to sign an agreement by late March this year. “After consensus on the technical specifications achieved, the oil and gas trade transaction will be structured in a way it has a mutual economic benefit for both countries,” a joint statement issued by the two sides had then stated. In April, Malik had said Pakistan had placed its first order for discounted Russian crude oil under a deal struck between Islamabad and Moscow”.
“He had also said that imports were expected to reach 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) if the first transaction went through smoothly. Pakistan’s Refinery Limited (PRL) will initially refine the Russian crude in a trial run, followed by Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (Parco) and other refineries, the petroleum minister added.”
“As a long-standing Western ally and the arch-rival of neighbouring India, which historically is closer to Moscow, analysts believe the crude deal would have been difficult for Pakistan to accept, but its financing needs are great. Discounted crude offers respite as Pakistan faces an acute balance-of-payments crisis, risking a default on its debt obligations. Energy imports make up most of the country’s external payments.
Currently, 80 per cent of Pakistan’s oil requirements of roughly 154,000 barrels per day are being met by traditional Gulf and Arab suppliers, mainly Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The 100,000 bpd from Russia in theory would greatly reduce Pakistan’s need for Middle Eastern fuel. On the other hand, Pakistan’s purchase gives Russia a new outlet, adding to Moscow’s growing sales to India and China, as it redirects oil from Western markets because of the Ukraine conflict.” https://www.dawn.com/news/1759360
- Impact of the war on the Global South relations with Russia, China and the West
L’Expression, an Algerian national daily newspaper, published on June 15 the article “Mediation of Algeria between Russia and Ukraine Putin says yes!” (“Médiation de l’Algerie entre la Russie et l’Ukraine Poutine dit oui!”), in which it is stated that the Russian government supported the intention of President Tebboune to help in starting peace negotiations.
”The President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, held a joint press conference after their meeting in Moscow. This press conference was an opportunity for the two leaders to take demonstrate the results of their talks and to underline the importance of relations between Algeria and Russia”.
“Abdelmadjid Tebboune expressed his gratitude to Vladimir Poutine for having accepted Algeria’s request for mediation between Russia and Ukraine. This initiative indicates the friendship between the two countries and their willingness to contribute to the peaceful resolution of international conflicts. President Tebboune stressed that his visit to Moscow was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations and boost cooperation between Algeria and Russia. He described the talks with President Putin as fruitful and sincere, testifying to the high level of political relations between the two countries. Tebboune also underlined the common will to continue the traditional political consultation between Algeria and Russia. The two leaders discussed various regional issues, including the situation in Libya, Sudan, Western Sahara and the Palestinian issue.”
“For his part, Vladimir Putin expressed his gratitude to President Tebboune for Algeria’s willingness to mediate in the situation in Ukraine. He underlined the importance of understanding the basic causes of the conflict in Ukraine and shared his vision of the current situation and supported the peaceful resolution of regional conflicts. The results of this meeting pave the way for new opportunities for cooperation between Algeria and Russia, thus strengthening the ties between the two nations.” https://www.lexpressiondz.com/nationale/poutine-dit-oui-370357
(Translated from French by IISWU)