Putin Promises Free Grain for Africa Despite Sanctions


During a summit in St. Petersburg focused on Russian-African ties, President Vladimir Putin pledged to gift tens of thousands of tons of grain to African nations within a few months. Despite facing Western sanctions that hinder Moscow’s grain and fertiliser exports, Putin asserted Russia’s commitment to global food security.

He stated that Russia’s record grain harvest would allow them to replace Ukrainian grain exports to Africa, providing both commercial and aid-based support. Countries like Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Central African Republic, and Eritrea would receive 25-50,000 tons of free grain each, with free delivery to consumers.

The event reflects Russia’s efforts to strengthen its influence and business presence in Africa, a continent where the Russian Wagner Group continues to operate despite recent internal challenges.

Putin addressed Western criticism over Russia’s exit from the Black Sea grain deal, highlighting that the promises made to facilitate Russia’s own grain and fertiliser exports were not upheld. He argued that the majority of Ukrainian grain exports under the lapsed deal went to wealthier countries, while poorer nations received disproportionately smaller shipments.

The Russian President blamed Western sanctions for obstructing the supply of grain and fertilisers to impoverished countries, creating a paradoxical situation where Russia is held responsible for the crisis in the world food market.

African Union chair Azali Assoumani also spoke at the summit, urging peaceful co-existence between Russia and Ukraine to protect food exports and save lives.

The summit aimed to enhance cooperation in various sectors, including energy, media, trade, agriculture, and education. Despite fewer African leaders attending compared to the previous summit, Russia remains committed to fostering stronger ties with Africa and offering expertise and business opportunities. The program included panel discussions on various topics, and dignitaries were invited to visit Russian imperial palaces and witness a gala football match between Russian and African “legends.”



Source: Daily Sabah