Russian grain and fertilizer exports are the central topic for this week’s Russia-Africa summit. The meeting comes after Russia withdrew from the year-long Black Sea grain deal.
Russia and nations taking part in this week’s Russia-Africa summit will discuss Moscow’s grain and fertiliser exports, Oleg Ozerov, ambassador at large at the Russian foreign ministry, told the state RIA news agency in remarks published on Tuesday.
Last week, Russia withdrew from the year-long Black Sea grain deal that ensured the safe export of Ukrainian grains, saying that Russia’s conditions for the extension of the deal had been ignored.
Free Russian grain
Putin has repeatedly said that Russia would offer free grain to low-income African countries now that the grain deal has been terminated. “I want to give assurances that our country is capable of replacing the Ukrainian grain both on a commercial and free-of-charge basis,” Putin said in a statement Monday, asserting that Russia shipped almost 10 million tons of grain to Africa in the first half of this year.
The second Russia-Africa summit will take place in St. Petersburg on July 27-29, as Moscow and the West compete for influence in Africa.
“The creation of logistics corridors, hubs not only for food and fertilizers, but also for any other products that the Russian Federation produces – this will be one of the topics of discussion,” Ozerov told RIA.
“It seems to me that the idea of such logistics corridors and the creation of grain hubs is promising and feasible.”
The collapsed deal
The U.N-brokered grain deal had allowed Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports, despite the war, to alleviate a global food crisis. This week, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow can replace Ukrainian grain both commercially and free of charge.
On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Russia on Monday to return to the Black Sea grain deal.
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