Putin says Russia will provide free grain to 6 African countries in next 3-4 months

Putin says Russia will provide free grain to 6 African countries in next 3-4 months

Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Central African Republic, Eritrea will receive 25,000-50,000 tons of grain ‘free of charge,’ says Russian president

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced that his country will provide free grain to six African countries in the next three to four months.

“We will be ready in the coming months, in the next three to four months, to provide Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea with 25,000-50,000 tons of grain free of charge. We will also provide free delivery of this product to consumers,” Putin said during his opening speech at the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg.

He said that a “paradoxical picture” is emerging, where Western countries are obstructing the supply of Russian grain and fertilizers, while also “hypocritically” accusing Moscow of the “current crisis situation in the world food market.”

“This approach was especially evident in the implementation of the so-called grain deal, which was concluded with the participation of the UN Secretariat and was originally aimed at ensuring global food security, reducing the threat of hunger and helping the poorest countries, including in Africa,” Putin said.

He further said that a total of 32.8 million tons of cargo was exported from Ukraine as part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, adding that more than 70% of grain exported went to high- and upper-middle-income countries.

He also said that the share of countries such as Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia accounted for less than 3% of the total, which he said amounted to less than 1 million tons of grain.

“None of the terms of the deal regarding the withdrawal from the sanctions of Russian exports of grain and fertilizers to world markets was fulfilled. None. Obstacles were also raised for the gratuitous transfer of mineral fertilizers by us to the poorest countries in need,” he added.

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