Russia to Meet All Needs of African Nations in Grain After Black Sea Grain Initiative Termination

© Sputnik . Natalia SeliverstovaThe building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow.
The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.07.2023
On Monday, the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which provided for a humanitarian corridor to allow exports of Ukrainian grain over the past year, expired as Russia did not extend its participation. Moscow has been repeatedly critical of the fact that the deal's provisions pertaining to Russia had not been fulfilled.
Russia intends to do everything to meet the food needs of African countries after the termination of the grain deal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said on Friday.

"We understand the concerns that our African friends may have, but I want to say that these concerns are quite not only understandable, but will be fully taken into account," Vershinin told a briefing, speaking about the consequences of the termination of the grain deal.

The Russian official added that "contacts are underway, efforts are being made so that African countries do not feel any negative consequences in this sense. He stressed that Moscow is in contact with its African partners "on the subject of delivery of Russian cargoes and grain, among other things.
The diplomat noted that the Russian and African sides are currently working on new routes for Russian agricultural exports to Africa amid complications in the Black Sea following the termination of a grain deal.

"This is largely a logistical-technical issue. It is already being worked out," Vershinin said at the briefing.

The logo of the African Union (AU) is seen at the entrance of the AU headquarters on March 13, 2019, in Addis Ababa.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 19.07.2023
African Union Calls for Resumption of Grain, Fertilizer Supplies From Ukraine, Russia
The grain agreement was terminated on July 17. Russia, which has repeatedly extended the July 2022 agreement on the Black Sea corridor for ships carrying Ukrainian grain, recalled that the part of the agreement concerning Russia - the removal of obstacles to its agricultural exports - had not been fulfilled.
Moscow also drew attention to the fact that, although the deal was intended to send food to the poorest countries, most of the grain from Ukraine went to the developed countries of the West.
At the same time, Vershinin noted, Russia is not ruling out the possibility of a new grain deal with Turkey.
"We are ready to consider various options for further continuation of the supply of grain to the world market, both grain and fertilizers. We have very close interaction with Turkey, traditional interaction, and we are also in contact with them now and exchanging about what to do in the current situation," Vershinin told a briefing, when asked if signing a new grain deal between Moscow and Ankara is possible.
According to the United Nations, 38% of the grain shipped under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed last year between Russia and Ukraine with the mediation of Turkey and the UN, went to Europe, followed by 30% to Turkey and 24% to China; the Global South received only 2%.
Earlier in the day, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto admitted in an interview with an Italian newspaper published Friday that 95% of Ukrainian grain is not delivered to African nations.
"95% of Ukrainian grain is supplied outside the African continent, but if African countries do not receive this grain, they will try to make up for it, and prices will inevitably rise. As a result, it will be more difficult to buy it in Africa. The destabilization of this region is a problem that affects Europe," the minister said.
According to Dmitry Peskov, the Russian president's press secretary, Moscow is ready to return to the agreement, but only if the part concerning Russia is implemented.