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At the Africa conference, Putin promises free grain

By 07/27/2023 10:20 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


Following his withdrawal from the grain export agreement with Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday offered free food to six impoverished African nations as he convened a conference with the continent’s leaders.

Putin’s support in Africa, where he continues to enjoy support despite the international isolation brought on by his military involvement in Ukraine last year, will be tested during the two-day summit taking place in Putin’s native Saint Petersburg.

Last week, Russia declined to renew an agreement that allowed Ukrainian grain shipments to go via the Black Sea to reach markets worldwide, including Africa, relieving pressure on food prices.

Putin made the commitment to supply grain to six African nations during his keynote speech at the conference.

The free delivery of 25,000 to 50,000 metric tons of grain to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea will be possible in the upcoming months, according to Putin.

The grain agreement allowed some 33 million metric tons of grain to leave Ukrainian ports over the course of a year, which helped stabilize world food prices and avert shortages.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged African summit participants to demand explanations for the delays in the grain supply that have driven poorer countries into crisis.

The leaders, according to Blinken, “know exactly who’s to blame for this current situation.”

At the Russia-Africa conference taking place on Thursday and Friday, seventeen African leaders, including the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, are anticipated.

The Kremlin claims that Western nations are attempting to stop African states from attending the meeting. The first of its sort was held in Sochi, southern Russia, in 2019, and this summit is the follow-up.


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