Their visit, which they described as a follow-up to that of Secretary of State Antony Blinken in November, comes at a time when the Russian invasion of Ukraine is dividing African nations.
Senegal, which has strong relations with the West, surprised many by abstaining in a March 2 United Nations General Assembly vote on demanding a Russian ceasefire in Ukraine.
But the West African state also voted in favour of a second UN resolution on March 24, demanding that Russia stop the war immediately.
Nearly half of all African countries abstained or did not vote at all in both votes.
Lapenn preferred to welcome the statement issued by the African Union on February 24, the day Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion, which called on Russia to “respect international law, the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Ukraine”.
Senegal imports 57 percent of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) could shrink by three percent “because of the subsidies that will be needed to meet this demand”, she added, calling it a “significant challenge”.
The US is looking at a series of options to lessen the economic effects, both with the World Bank and IMF and on a bilateral level, said Cook.
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