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Putin promises free grain supply to Africa



President Vladimir Putin of Russia has pledged to strengthen ties with African nations and has offered to provide free grain supply to help combat food insecurity on the continent. Ahead of the second Russia-Africa Summit and Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum scheduled for July 27 and 28 in St. Petersburg, Russia, Putin expressed his commitment to deepening cooperation with Africa.

In his statement themed “Russia and Africa: Joining Efforts for Peace, Progress, and a Successful Future,” Putin highlighted Russia’s historical support for African countries in various sectors, including education, infrastructure, power, health, defense, and security.

Notably, Putin emphasized the importance of uninterrupted food supplies for the socio-economic development and political stability of African states. As a result, Russia has vowed to provide continuous and free grain supply to address food insecurity in certain African countries.

However, the Russian leader criticized a previous grain deal that ended on July 18, stating that it did not meet its intended humanitarian purpose. Consequently, Russia decided to boycott the deal, citing non-fulfillment of provisions related to the exemption from sanctions on Russian grain and fertilizer exports to world markets.

Assuring Africa of Russia’s capabilities, Putin asserted that his country could replace Ukrainian grain both on commercial terms and free-of-charge, especially as they expect another record harvest this year. The upcoming summits in St. Petersburg aim to outline priority areas for cooperation between Russia and Africa in the coming decades of the 21st century.