vladimir putin commits to free grain supply to africa

Vladimir Putin commits to free grain supply to Africa

Vladimir Putin, the current president of Russia, has promised free grain supplies to six African nations after the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal.

Despite Western sanctions limiting Russian exports, the Russian president pledged to offer commercial and assistance-based grain shipments to six African countries: Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea.

Putin said on Thursday that he would give tens of thousands of tons of grain to African leaders in these six countries. During a speech at a Russia-Africa conference in St. Petersburg, he said, “We will be ready to provide Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Central African Republic, and Eritrea with 25-50,000 tonnes of free grain each in the next three to four months.”

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He said that he would replace Ukrainian grain shipments to Africa on both a commercial and assistance basis. He told African leaders on Thursday that he would send 25,000-50,000 tonnes of grain free of charge. 

The president of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, expressed his gratitude to Putin. Other African leaders also thanked the Russian president.

Earlier this month, Russia withdrew from a United Nations backed Black Sea Grain deal that allowed Kyiv to export grain through the Black Sea to markets, many of them in Africa.

The Black Sea Grain deal was signed among Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, which allowed safe transportation of grains from Ukrainian ports to other countries. The agreement aimed at eradicating the global food crisis worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The deal expired on July 17, 2023, and Russia refused to extend the deal.

Under the agreement, around 33 million metric tons of corn, wheat and other grains were exported by Ukraine to other countries to combat a global food crisis.