EU wants Uganda to take side in Russia-Ukraine war

EU asks Ugandan gov't to focus on economic, social development
Attilio Pacifici, the EU Ambassador to Uganda presenting a copy of photography book on historical sites and buildings to President Museveni

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The European Union (EU) delegation has urged Uganda to decide which side it supports in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The war which has escalated the world’s economic crisis started on February 24, 20222 and has raged till now creating turmoil in food and energy markets, and further raising food prices. The two countries are leaders in the production of wheat, oil and sunflower.

Whereas many counties in the world have condemned the Russia-Ukraine war, Uganda opted for a non-partisan approach, standing among the 17 countries that abstained on a United Nations (UN) resolution condemning the Russian invasion, which was supported by 141 out of the 193 countries. Uganda was also among the African countries visited by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

At a joint press conference on Wednesday 27, July 2022, President Yoweri Museveni defended the country’s relationship with Russia. “How can we be against somebody who has never harmed us?,” Museveni asked. “If Russia makes mistakes, we tell them,” Museveni added, citing his participation in student demonstrations against the crushing of the Prague Spring by the Soviet Union in 1968. “But when they have not made a mistake, we cannot be against them,” he said.

But Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, the head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Uganda, said that Russia’s invasion was unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, that is threatening the peace and unity of the European continent, adding that coercion has no place in the 21st century,

He added that this crisis has come with a high cost to humanity, with lives lost, large refugee numbers, international economic disruption as well as agricultural and fuel supply shortages. According to Pacifici, this was the aggression of one country by another, and it has to be condemned by all peace-loving humans, and that is what is expected of Uganda.

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His message was delivered by the Belgian Ambassador to Uganda, Rudi Veestraeten.

The Ambassador made these remarks while officiating at the pre-departure event of 13 Ugandans who are heading to different European countries to further their academic careers, through the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree programme. The first countries to host this year’s group of students are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Jotham Maitum, who was awarded a scholarship to study a Master’s in European Forestry, says he applied several times for the scholarship but finally succeeded last year, adding that he did a lot to see to it that he wins the scholarship

Maitum says that this is an opportunity for him to grow professionally with these international skills from an international standard, and will help him improve forestry in the country.