The Egyptian president called on Vladimir Putin to extend the agreement allowing Ukraine to export grain at the Africa summit that the Russian president will chair. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi said it was “necessary” to restore the agreement and called for an urgent solution to provide supplies to Africa’s poorest countries.
Russia withdrew from the agreement last week and has since bombarded Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Putin said that the West failed to keep the deal and supplied Russian grain to six African countries. Egypt is an important grain buyer via the Black Sea route and is particularly vulnerable to global food price shocks.
In response, Putin insisted that the high food prices were the result of mistakes in Western policy before the war with Ukraine. He also claimed the grain deal had failed to deliver grain to poorer countries and said Russia was ready to supply its own grain to help prevent a “global food crisis”.
He said Russia could supply Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Central African Republic and Eritrea 25-50,000 tons of grain for free each for the next three to four months. These six countries are all allies of Russia, with the exception of Somalia, which is suffering from a serious humanitarian crisis.