Vladimir Putin told leaders and officials from most African countries Thursday that Russia is making every effort to avert a global food crisis despite concerns that its withdrawal from a deal allowing grain shipments from Ukraine will cause price spikes.
The Russian leader spoke at the opening session of a two-day Russia-Africa summit attended by a sharply lower number of African heads of state and government compared with a previous summit in 2019. While discussing the halted Black Sea grain deal, he promised large no-cost shipments of grain to six African countries.
“Our country will continue supporting needy states and regions, in particular, with its humanitarian deliveries. We seek to actively participate in building a fairer system of distribution of resources. We are taking maximum efforts to avert a global food crisis,” Putin said.
“I have already said that our country can replace Ukrainian grain, both on a commercial basis and as grant aid to the neediest African countries, more so since we expect another record harvest this year,” he said.
Russia intends to ship up to 50,000 tons of grain aid to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Eritrea and Central African Republic in the next three to four months, Putin said.