Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country will deliver 25,000 to 50,000 tons of grain to African countries for free in three to four months. Addressing the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum in St. Petersburg, Putin criticized the West for not fulfilling the grain agreement.
He pointed out that the initiative (grain agreement) should contribute to world food security. Still, it still needs to achieve its goal. According to Putin, 70 percent of grain from Ukraine arrived in EU countries, and less than three percent of the total amount went to African countries, less than one million tons of grain, reports Kommersant.
At the Russia-Africa summit, Putin stated that Russian conditions were unmet, so Moscow suspended participation in the Black Sea grain export initiative. He promised that Russia would supply grain to countries Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea with 25 to 50 thousand tons of grain for free and provide free delivery.
Black Sea Grain Export: Putin’s Position
“None of the conditions of the Agreement on the withdrawal of sanctions on exporting grain and fertilizers from Russia to world markets have been fulfilled. None,” Putin said. He emphasized that Russia agreed to participate in the grain agreement, among other things, to remove export restrictions.
According to the words of its president, Russia has agreed to participate in the Agreement. It is taking into account the obligations that illegitimate obstacles to the supply of Russian grain and fertilizer to world markets will be removed. Putin justified the decision on free shipments of Russian grain to Africa by claiming that it was helpful to the poorest countries.
Speaking about the reasons for Western restrictions on Russia, he assessed that all bans testify to the West’s unwillingness to help African countries. “Well, someone doesn’t want Russia, as they say, to get rich and spend money for military purposes, but this is a free transfer, which they don’t allow. Despite all the empty talk about the desire to help the poorest countries,” Putin said.
Moscow did not extend the Agreement on the safe export of Ukrainian grain through humanitarian corridors in the Black Sea, which expired on July 17. The two countries reached an agreement in July last year with the mediation of Turkey and the UN. Turkey is now trying to help revive the Agreement, while Bulgaria, Romania, the EU, and the UN are trying to facilitate the resumption of exports via land routes.