Finland may halt aid to African states that back Russia’s war in Ukraine

According to the program of Finland’s new right-wing administration, no development funding will be given to governments or nations that back Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Foreign Trade and Development Minister Ville Tavio said this in an interview with YLE.

“Finland will not give development aid to governments or entities that support Russia’s war of aggression,” the new government’s programme states.

Finland may divert development aid to Ukraine

The Finish government will reduce millions of dollars in development aid and divert it. Tavio told YLE that “Ukraine will become a new recipient country.”

Tavio refused to name specific countries, instead referring to Africa as a whole. “African countries have shown their support for Russia. Those countries will be monitored,” the Finish minister warned.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, and Tanzania have been Finland’s key international partners in Africa for decades, with partnerships for development lasting several decades.

Finland has committed to allocating 0.7% of its GNP to development funding under the UN proposal. However, such a target was only met once in the early 1990s. In 2023, development cooperation is expected to cost Finland €1.177 billion, or 0.42% of GDP.

According to the new government, funding would be reduced progressively while previous obligations would be honoured. According to the government, funding for development will be slashed by roughly €280 million by 2027.

African countries that failed to condemn Russia in the UN

In October 2022, the UN General Assembly condemned Russia’s “illegal annexations” of Ukrainian territory after Moscow vetoed a similar text in the Security Council in September.

Twenty-six African countries voted in favour of the resolution rejecting Moscow’s controversial referenda in four Ukrainian regions. Nineteen other states abstained.

Mali, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, the Republic of Congo, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe were among the African states that abstained. Eritrea, which had previously voted to reject a UN resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, also abstained.

In February 2023, 15 African states were among 32 UN member states that abstained from voting on a General Assembly resolution calling for Russia to pull out its troops from Ukraine.

The resolution, whose vote occurred on the eve of Friday’s first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 last year, called on Moscow to stop its aggression against Ukraine by withdrawing its troops.

The African countries that abstained from the vote were Algeria, Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Nigeria voted in favour of the resolution, while Eritrea and Mali opposed the document.

The resolution, however, was adopted after receiving the backing of 141 of the 180 countries that were represented.

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