Kremlin Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov has emphasized that food shortages in Africa have nothing to do with Russia’s decision to pull out of the Black Sea Grain Agreement.
Peskov disclosed to reporters on Thursday, August 31, 2023 that Russia remained a reliable supplier of grain despite obstacles created by Western countries.
In July, Russia suspended its participation in the Black Sea Grain Agreement, a deal that had allowed Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest exporters, to ship grain across the Black Sea.
When asked in a briefing about reported accusations by the Head of Ukraine’s national security and defence council that Russia was causing hunger in Africa, where many countries depend on imported grain, Peskov remarked, those accusations “are completely baseless, they are wrong and they are a deliberate distortion of reality.”
“The shortage of grains and food shortages on the African continent have nothing to do with our country,” he declared.
“Russia, even now, despite the fact that the deal itself no longer works, takes a responsible position: you know about the initiative to send free grain to the poorest countries of the African continent.”Dmitry Peskov
It has been said that Russia’s withdrawal has practically halted all of Ukraine’s grain shipments by sea. In announcing its decision to quit the grain deal, Russia argued that Western sanctions were impeding its own food and fertiliser exports.
Nonetheless, during the Russia-Africa summit, held late July, Russian President, Vladimir Putin promised to send tonnes of grain for free to six African countries; a quantity unlikely to make significant inroads into food shortages on the continent.
He mentioned the six African countries as Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Central African Republic and Eritrea, stating that each of them would get 25,000-50,000 tonnes of grain.
He also blamed Western sanctions for restricting Russia from supplying free fertilisers to poor nations.
“A paradoxical picture is emerging. On the one hand, Western countries are obstructing supplies of our grain and fertilisers (via sanctions), while on the other they hypocritically blame us for the current crisis situation on the world food market.”Vladimir Putin on July 27, 2023
No Concrete Outcome On Turkey-Qatar Grain Shipping Plan
Additionally, Peskov disclosed that there were no concrete results yet on a proposed plan which involves Turkey and Qatar to export Russian grain.
He said that no specifics had been agreed yet on a proposal by Moscow to ship Russian grain via Turkey to poor countries with financial support from Qatar.
Russian authorities announced earlier that it was proposing the plan as an alternative to the Turkish-brokered Black Sea grain deal that it quit in July.
However, Turkey has been trying to convince Moscow to return to the Black Sea grain deal, agreement that it brokered with the United Nations in 2022.
Meanwhile, two Turkish sources divulged to a news agency that Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan would meet Putin in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on September 4, 2023, for discussions on the Black Sea grain exports.
The leaders will discuss the fallout from the war in Ukraine as well as a deal that allowed the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, one of the sources revealed.