On September 30, Russian media distorted comments by Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Ambassador-at-Large, reporting that, as a new policy, Ukraine plans to align more closely with Africa. The false information was carried by Ukraina.ru, Russkaya Vesna, Politnavigator, the Committee of Voters of Donbas, newstes.ru, and others.
Kuleba told StopFake, however, that he had made it clear in his comments that he was not announcing a change in Ukraine’s foreign towards Africa.
“I was asked if the Ministry had affairs with any state except our traditional partners, the EU and the USA,” Kuleba said. “My answer was that we did have affairs and we need to develop contacts ‘beyond Europe.’ To put it another way, I said that we had to cooperate with the EU, and with the USA, and with the other regions. The headline of the news [declaring the launch of a new foreign policy] is a fake that distorts the meaning of my words. Ukrainian policy is definitely and irreversibly aligned with the European Union. However, we have interests in the other parts of the world. That’s why we should consistently develop contacts with them.”
The fake stories were hatched from comments made by Kuleba to Ukraine’s 5 Channel journalist Tetiana Danylenko during a talk show on September 29. She had commented: “Ukrainian diplomacy is often reproached that it cooperates only with our main partners and ignores other continents such as Africa. That is unchartered waters for us.”
Kuleba responded by discussing Ukraine’s existing cooperation with African countries. His complete response can be found at 23:43: