Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Gregory W. Meeks and Michael McCaul, Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Egypt, Uganda, Ethiopia, and the Republic of Congo.

“In the wake of Putin’s brutal bombing of the Odesa port, essentially reneging on the UN-mediated agreement to allow grain shipments to leave the port, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov continues to peddle disinformation in Africa about Russia’s role in exacerbating the global food crisis. Make no mistake – the Putin regime has shown us time and again that it will stop at nothing to use food as a bargaining chip and a weapon of war. As food prices skyrocket throughout Africa, the Russian Federation is shamelessly attempting to shift the blame when the evidence of its recklessness and indifference to human suffering is clear.”

Background: The House passed H.R. 7311, the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act, in late April. This bill, led by Chairman Meeks and Ranking Member McCaul, requires the Administration to assess and report on the scale and scope of Russian disinformation, corruption, and other activities that undermine the interests of the U.S. and our African partners. Since February, Congress has provided nearly $8 billion to address rising food insecurity and help alleviate the suffering that Putin’s war has caused in Africa and around the world.