Putin claims Africa is being unfairly treated by the Black Sea Grain Initiative
Vladimir Putin has expressed his criticism of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, claiming that its statistics are dry and impartial.
Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed that only 3% of grain exported from Ukraine is reaching Africa’s crisis hot spots.
- The current Black Sea Grain Initiative agreement is set to expire on July 17th, and Russia is considering its options.
- Russia is making preparations to host a larger delegation in Saint Petersburg for the Russia-Africa summit next month.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly criticized the Black Sea Grain Initiative, arguing that its “figures are dry and impartial.”
In his address to the African delegation in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Putin stated that just slightly over 3% of the total exports from Ukraine reach Africa’s crisis zones.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative, established in July of last year, aimed to address the global food crisis exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, allowing for the export of food and fertilizer from Ukrainian ports.
“Out of the total of 31.7 million tonnes, only 976,000 tonnes were shipped to Africa’s needy countries: Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Ethiopia. This amounts to just 3.1%, ladies and gentlemen, friends,” Putin exclaimed.
Putin attributes this imbalance to the actions of the US and its European allies.
“These European neo-colonial powers, essentially the US, have once again deceived the international community and the African countries in need,” he lamented.
Last month, he issued a warning that if his demands in the agreement were not considered, he would directly engage with African nations to supply them with fertilizer.
Some of Russia’s demands include the option of Black Sea ammonia shipments and reconnecting the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT payment system.
The current two-month agreement is set to expire on July 17th.
Putin stressed that even with exports from Europe, Africa cannot resolve its issue of food insecurity.
Supplying Ukrainian grain to global markets does not solve the problem of African countries in need of food.
Next month, Russia will host a larger delegation of African leaders in Saint Petersburg for the second Russia-Africa summit.
Putin viewed this meeting as a milestone for “promising new directions of cooperation in political relations, trade and economic ties, science and technology, humanitarian affairs, and other fields.”
He advocated for a new world order in which Africa plays a crucial role.
This echoes the same message promoted by Russia’s geopolitical rivals, the US and Europe.
“I want to emphasize that Russia has the utmost respect for the principled stance of African states in favor of maintaining global and regional stability and security, achieving peaceful conflict resolutions, and establishing a fairer model of international relations.
“We support your aspirations to pursue independent, sovereign, and peaceful policies. We welcome our African friends’ balanced approach to the Ukrainian crisis,” he expressed.
The African delegation that travelled to Ukraine and Russia in an attempt to encourage peace talks included President Cyril Ramaphosa, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, AU Chairperson and Comoros President Azali Assoumani, Senegal President Macky Sall, Egypt Prime Minister Mostafa Mabdouli, Minister of State and Director of the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Congo Florent Ntsiba, and Ugandan Special Envoy for Special Duties Ruhakana Rugunda.
Putin was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov.