The Global South media on the war in Ukraine (21.04 – 28.04)
- Perspectives on conflict resolution
L’Expression, a national daily French-language Algerian newspaper, published on April 23, the article “Lula wants a “negotiated solution” between Moscow and Kyiv” (“Lula veut une «solution négociée» entre Moscou et Kiev”).
“Despite Western disapproval of his recent remarks about the war in Ukraine, Brazilian President Lula da Silva yesterday reaffirmed his refusal to “take part” in the conflict and his determination to contribute to reaching a “negotiated solution” between Kiev and Moscow“.
“My government condemns the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, at the same time we defend a negotiated solution for the conflict”, he declared to the press after a meeting in Lisbon with his Portuguese counterpart, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. “We urgently need a group of countries that can sit together at the same table both with Ukraine and with Russia,” he said, stressing that “Brazil does not want to participate in the war, Brazil wants to build peace”.
President Lula believes that achieving a just and lasting peace requires regarding the negotiations between the combatants as the most important priority. The Portuguese position is different: it assumes that a path to peace should be taken only after Ukraine will given the opportunity to counter-force the invasion, responded Mr. Rebelo de Sousa.
President Lula, back in power after having already governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010, wants to put his country back at the center of world geopolitics and has been trying to act on the international political scene as a tightrope walker since the start of his new mandate. He traveled to Washington in February for a meeting at the White House with his American counterpart Joe Biden, and recently visited China, Brazil’s largest trading partner. But Lula caused a fierce controversy when he stated in Beijing that the United States should stop “encouraging war” in Ukraine and that the European Union should “start talking about peace”. Invited to Kiev so that he “understands the real causes and the essence” of the war, the Brazilian head of state announced from Lisbon that he will send his main foreign policy adviser, Celso Amorim, there for a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky”. https://www.lexpressiondz.com/internationale/lula-veut-une-solution-negociee-entre-moscou-et-kiev-368488
(Translated from French by IISWU)
Al-Ahram, the most widely circulating Egyptian daily newspaper, published at its site on April 27 the article “Can China bring peace to Ukraine?”
“Xi told Zelensky that China’s “core position is to promote peace talks”, and promised to send a delegation to Ukraine to help find a “political settlement”. The delegation will be led by Li Hui, China’s ambassador to Russia from 2009 to 2019. But the choice of Li has raised eyebrows: shortly before leaving Moscow, President Vladimir Putin awarded him the Order of Friendship medal. Chinese state media at the time said the award was “not only an honour for himself, but it also represents the friendship between the Russian and Chinese people”. Xi’s phone call with Zelensky follows Beijing’s publication in February of a 12-point position paper on Ukraine, which called for dialogue and respect for all countries’ territorial sovereignty. Wednesday’s call follows a Chinese diplomatic charm offensive aimed at reshaping strained ties with Europe after three years of Covid isolation. French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen visited China earlier this month. Macron sparked a stir near the end of the trip by telling reporters Europe should not be drawn into a fight between Beijing and Washington over democratic, Western-backed Taiwan. Beijing could be signalling that it is willing to engage with Ukraine to “soften some of the harsher voices towards China in the EU”, analyst Bill Bishop wrote in his Sinocism newsletter. It could also be seeking to “further the goal of encouraging European strategic autonomy and wedging some distance between the EU and the US”, he added.
“China positions itself as a neutral party on the Ukraine war. But China and Russia have in recent years ramped up economic cooperation and diplomatic contacts, with their partnership only growing closer since the invasion. ”.
Xi’s “no-limits friendship” with Putin raises questions over the Chinese leader’s impartiality. The White House said it was still unclear whether China’s involvement would lead to a “meaningful peace movement or plan or proposal”. Han Yang, a Sydney-based commentator and former Chinese diplomat, said in a tweet Xi’s comment on Wednesday that “there are no winners in a nuclear war” was “essentially Xi pressuring Zelensky to concede to Putin’s territorial demands: if you don’t start negotiation, there is possibility of Russia dropping the bomb, and it will be on you”. If China’s efforts do help broker a settlement, the NUS’s Chong said, “it would demonstrate Beijing’s ability to play a constructive global role and perhaps underscore Xi’s role as a global leader”.
- Economic problems caused by the war in Ukraine
The Hindustan Times, a national Indian newspaper reported on April 25 that sugar production in Maharashtra state has dropped by 17.4% and this will result in a rise in retail prices, which are going to grow almost twice.
According to Shekhar Gaikwad, the Maharashtrian sugar commissioner, “The prices of sugar in the retail market are expected to increase because of multiple reasons”. “The government incentives for the conversion of sugar to ethanol led to a further drop in sugar production”. Shekhar Gaikwad also stressed “Sugar production in Brazil also dropped mainly because of the fuel demand owing to Ukraine-Russia war”.
3. Impact of the war on the Global South relations with Russia, China and the West
The Daily Prothom Alo, a daily newspaper in Bangladesh, published on April 24 the article “Russian-Bangladeshi friendship gives a new vibe to the vista”. The article describes the attitude of common people to the increase of Russia nationals living in Bangladesh either as tourists or as employees at the nuclear plant construction. It is declared that the inhabitants both of the small towns and of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, are content with the grown number of Russians, who are considered to “have become so close” to Bangladeshis.
“The nuclear power plant underway in Rooppur has brought about changes to the locale”.
“Although they are from two different countries and speak two different languages, there are no communication problems at all. The Bangladeshi vendors understand enough rudimentary Russian, and the Russians are picking up Bangla too. From buying food to taking part in various festivals, a growing friendship between the two people is visible everywhere”. https://en.prothomalo.com/bangladesh/63oj2vbw87
Times of Oman, a daily English-language newspaper in the Sultanate of Oman, published on April 24 the article “We take up this responsibility at a time when East-West polarization is very strong”, devoted to the remarks of Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar made during visit to Latin America where he attended the 4th India-SICA (Central America Integration System).
“Jaishankar said as developing countries, SICA members share common perspectives and are confronted with common global challenges. “I can say that we are suffering from the Covid and the Ukraine conflict, but we also have to deal with preexisting conditions, and these are climate change, poverty reduction, and food and energy security, amongst others,” Jaishankar added, highlighting various global concerns. “It is with that (preexisting conditions) in mind that Prime Minister Modi took the initiative of holding the voice of Global South summit of 125 nations in which many of you participated. And in the words of Prime Minister Modi was that no group should claim leadership without thinking of those most affected,” Jaishankar said. “Soliciting the views of the Global South, we dump this as essential in our responsibility as the G 20 chair,” he added.
“2023 is a very special year because of (G20) presidency. But it is also a year of exceptional responsibility because we take up this responsibility at a time when East-West polarization is very strong and North-South divides are getting deeper. The underlying theme of our presidency is Vasudaiva Kutumbakum, which means the world is a family. And again, we have sought to translate this into practical action,” Jaishankar said on world unity.
“I speak of the G20 at some length because all of us are going to be affected by what the G20 does or does not do. I bring to your attention the thinking of Prime Minister Modi, whose view is that let not the issues that we cannot resolve come in the way of those that we can,” Jaishankar said, quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Today, we are gathered here as countries with strong bilateral ties, as a partnership between India and SICA as an expression of the common South-South cooperation to which we are all committed, but also as part of our larger commitment to building a fairer and more just international order,” Jaishankar said. “Energy and food security are the two most immediate global challenges that the South faces. There are the longer-term trends, the priorities which will go beyond food and energy security, including those of development, growth, trade, investment, employment, poverty reduction,” the EAM said.