Russia can offer Global South nothing but weapons, mercenaries - von der Leyen

Russia can offer Global South nothing but weapons, mercenaries - von der Leyen

The nations of the Global South increasingly consider cooperation with the EU and Group of Seven nations as a new opportunity for their own development, since in practice, Russia and similar countries can offer them nothing but weapons and mercenaries.

That’s according to the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, who spoke in Hiroshima, where the G7 summit is taking place. The relevant statement was published on the European Commission website, Ukrinform reports.

“The global pandemic and the knock-on effects of Russia's war concerning energy and food have a strong impact on the global economy, but especially on the global south. The same is true for the effects of climate change. Many emerging and developing countries are looking for sustainable funding opportunities. The Belt and Road Initiative looked like a good cheap offer. But many countries in the Global South have made bad experiences with China. They took Chinese loans and ended up in a debt crisis. And all Russia has to offer these countries are weapons and mercenaries," EC President noted.

Read also: G7 Hiroshima Leaders’ Communiqué reiterates unwavering support for Ukraine

According to von der Leyen, for this reason, many countries of the Global South are looking for alternative solutions. This opens a new window of opportunity for the G7 Group and its partners. They can offer “win-win partnerships to emerging economies that are willing to work with us.”

But in these efforts, according to von der Leyen, the West has to be “fast” and “concrete.”

"Our big advantage compared to others is the comprehensive package we can offer. We can bring players from the private sector and the banks around the table. And we also focus on producing added value in our partner countries. Because they wish to move up the value chains to produce finished and semi-finished products. So, we will be supporting not just extraction of raw materials but also local processing and refining," said Ursula von der Leyen.

She also cited among the advantages of Global South’s partnership with the West the ability to combine large capital and technology transfer, which is possible thanks to the efforts of the private sector. In turn, official institutions can play a role in de-risking investments and offer instruments such as loan guarantees and blending operations.

According to the president of the European Commission, within the framework of the Partnership for Global Investment and Infrastructure, which was launched a year ago, more than 90 flagship projects are already being implemented on different continents, in particular, in such areas as the production of "green" hydrogen, submarine cables and satellite connectivity, as well as railway connections.

As reported earlier, the 48th G7 summit is underway in Japan, which will continue until May 21. On top agenda are ways to ensure the stability of the global economy, including the implications of the coronavirus pandemic and Russian aggression against Ukraine.

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