South African President Urges Putin To Resume Black Sea Grain Initiative

By Ebi Kesiena

President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa has urged President of Russia Vladimir Putin to resume the Russia-Ukraine grain deal.

Ramaphosa stated this at the meeting between the Russian leader and his African counterparts dedicated to Ukrainian issues on Friday evening.

According to Ramphosa while African countries recognize Russia’s generosity in donating grain, their representatives had not come to Moscow seeking gifts, as he urged Putin to resume Russia’s participation in the grain deal and to keep Ukraine’s Black Sea ports open to global markets.

“We didn’t come here to ask for some ‘gifts’. Of course, we understand that you, out of generosity, have decided to donate grain to some African countries that are facing certain difficulties, but this is not our main goal here. It is not our main task to achieve some kind of supplies of this nature,” he said.

On his part while addressing a plenary during the summit, Putin said that Russia was prepared to donate 25,000–50,000 tons of grain to several African countries in the next three to four months.

Putin stated that those countries would include Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea.

About the grain deal
As part of the grain deal, which expired on July 17 and wasn’t prolonged due to Moscow’s refusal, Ukraine exported about 33 million tons of food. The suspension of the grain deal has already led to an increase in grain prices, which is particularly damaging for African nations.

Ukraine previously exported around 33 million tons of food under the grain deal. The deal’s lapse has already caused a rise in grain prices.

An Independent Russian publication calculated that for the six African countries to which Putin promised free grain, a resumption of the grain deal would be more beneficial, since free supplies from Russia will cover only a small part of those countries’ needs.

Credit GistNew

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