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Polish deputy FM to discuss Ukraine war on Botswana visit

04.07.2022 09:00
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński is visiting Botswana this week, with the Ukraine war and economic cooperation top of the agenda.
Paweł Jabłoński.
Paweł Jabłoński.PAP/Wojtek Jargiło.

It will be the first Polish-Botswanan talks at this level, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Polish-Botswanan business ties

During the two-day visit, which begins on Monday, Jabłoński will be accompanied by a group of Polish businessmen. 

Jabłoński described Botswana as an "oasis of stability" in Africa. 

“Botswana has a very low level of corruption and is very secure,” he told Polish Radio. “It’s not too well known in Poland, but it’s an excellent place to start economic cooperation with Africa.”

According to Jabłoński, Botswana is particularly attractive to companies from the hi-tech sector, for food manufacturers, as well as for companies specialising in environmental protection and waste management.  

Last year, Polish-Botswanan trade totalled USD 500,000, reporters were told.

Countering Russia’s false narrative on Ukraine war

Jabłoński’s talks in Botswana will also focus on the consequences of Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to officials. 

Jabłoński said: “Russia is cynically trying to create a famine in Africa, so that it puts pressure on Europe. This is Putin’s game and Putin’s plan today. We must make diplomatic efforts to counteract this, and it’s one of the reasons why we’re going there.”

He said he would seek to dispel “the Kremlin’s false narrative” about the war in Ukraine.

Russia has claimed that the food supply crisis has been caused by Western sanctions on the Kremlin, news outlets reported.

Jabłoński said last month: “The one and only cause [of the food supply crisis] is the policy of the Russian Federation, its attack on Ukraine, its blockade of Black Sea ports, its destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure and food stores.”

Also in June, the United Nations warned that the number of people suffering from acute hunger could rise by 47 million worldwide if the war in Ukraine continued.

While in Botswana, Jabłoński is also set to discuss "bilateral cooperation on the international stage," Botswana’s relations with the European Union, and the security situation in the region, according to officials. 

Monday is day 131 of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


Source: IAR, polskieradio24.pl