Russia to offer free grain to six African countries

President Putin said Russia will also provide free delivery of this product to consumers in Africa

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (27 July) offered free grain to six African countries as he launched a summit with leaders from the continent

The move comes days after withdrawing from the Ukraine grain export deal.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day Russia-Africa Summit in Saint Petersburg, Putin said: “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, Eritrea with 25, 000 to 50, 000 tons of grain free of charge.”

“We will also provide free delivery of this product to consumers,” the president added.

“Perhaps a few more figures will be of interest. Ukraine for the last agricultural year produced about 55 million tons of grain. Exports amounted to 47 million tons – a lot, including 17 million tons of wheat. And Russia, dear colleagues, harvested 156 million tons of grain last year. 60 million tons were exported, of which 48 million tons were wheat.”

“Russia’s share in the world wheat market is 20%, Ukraine’s is less than 5%. This means that it is Russia that makes a significant contribution to global food security and is a solid, responsible international supplier of agricultural products.”

“And those who claim that this is not so, that [this is] only securing this so-called grain deal for the export of Ukrainian grain, are simply distorting the facts, telling lies. As a matter of fact, this has been the practice of some Western states for decades, if not centuries.

Over a year, the grain deal allowed around 33 million tons of grain to leave Ukrainian ports, helping to stabilise global food prices and avert shortages.

The free grain to these African countries could, therefore, been seen as a positive step to support these countries to avert food shortages.

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