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We are not to blame for Kenya's rise in cost of living, says Russia

Diesel and petrol prices have increased by 5 shillings a liter

A general view of fruits and vegetables for sale in Nairobi on March 16, 2022. - African countries are feeling the pain of Ukraine's crisis as supply disruptions hike inflation and oil prices push up fuel costs. (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

The embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Kenya has released a statement disparaging remarks from State House spokesperson Kanze Dena claiming rising cost of living is fueled by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Taking to their social media platforms, the consulate went on to blame the price jump in oil prices and other commodities to the economic sanctions placed on the European country.

"The real cause of the increase in prices in Africa is not Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, but the illegal unilateral sanctions imposed by the US, EU and their followers on Russia," read their brief statement.

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This week, Japan and Australia announced separate measures sanctioning Russian individuals and organisations, including two oligarchs with links to Australia's mining industry, as well as Russia's state-owned arms exporter.

What did Kanze Dena say?

Speaking to Radio Kaya on Tuesday, March 15 Dena had said that the issue was fueled by numerous external forces.

“The rising cost of living is not exclusive to Kenya, it is a global phenomenon fueled by numerous external factors among them the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war which has led to a rise in the global price of petroleum, which is a key factor of production,” she said.

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Russia's statement coincides with a sharp increase in fuel prices. Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority on Monday, March 14 increased diesel and petrol prices by 5 shillings a liter to 115.60 shillings and 134.72 shillings respectively, the highest level in Kenya's history.

The sharp rise in fuel prices was attributed to the Governments' partial withdrawal of a fuel subsidy imposed in October last year.

Without the cushion from the subsidy, gasoline prices would have jumped to 155.11 shillings per liter during the next 30 days, while diesel would be 143.16 shillings, according to the agency.

The higher fuel prices are expected to inflate costs of food, transport, electricity generation and manufacturing. Brent crude is near $110 a barrel as the Russia-Ukraine war roils markets.

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