AU head says ‘reassured’ after talks with Putin on food shortages

AU head says ‘reassured’ after talks with Putin on food shortages

AU head says ‘reassured’ after talks with Putin on food shortages

AU head says ‘reassured’ after talks with Putin (Credit: Google)

Advertisement
  • Global food shortages and grain stockpiles in Ukrainian ports were on the agenda.
  • “I found Vladimir Putin committed and aware that the crisis” Macky Sall .
  • The UN has said Africa faces an “unprecedented” crisis caused by the conflict.
Advertisement

African Union Secretary-General Macky Sall On Friday, said he was “reassured” after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about food shortages caused by Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.

On the 100th day of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine, Putin hosted Senegalese President Macky Sall at his Black Sea residence in Sochi. Global food shortages and grain stockpiles in Ukrainian ports were on the agenda.

“I found Vladimir Putin committed and aware that the crisis and sanctions create serious problems for weak economies, such as African economies,” Sall told journalists, adding that he was leaving Russia “very reassured and very happy with our exchanges”.

Ahead of the talks, which lasted three hours, Sall asked Putin to “become aware that our countries, even if they are far from the theatre (of action), are victims on an economic level” of the conflict.

He said it was important to work together so that “everything that concerns food, grain, fertiliser is actually outside” Western sanctions imposed on Moscow after Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.

In his remarks in front of reporters before the talks, Putin did not mention grain supplies but said Russia was “always on Africa’s side” and was now keen to ramp up cooperation.

Advertisement

“At the new stage of development, we place great importance on our relations with African countries, and I must say this has had a certain positive result,” Putin added.

Putin did not make a statement following the talks.

Washington and Brussels have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Moscow, pushing Putin to seek new markets and strengthen ties with countries in Africa and Asia.

The Kremlin said the two leaders discussed expanding “political dialogue” between Russia and the African Union as well as economic and humanitarian cooperation.

– ‘Exhaustive explanations’ –

Speaking to reporters earlier on Friday, Putin’s spokesman said the Russian leader would explain to Sall “the real state of affairs” concerning grain supplies stuck in Ukrainian ports.

Advertisement

“No-one is blocking these ports, at least not from the Russian side,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Putin has said Moscow is ready to look for ways to ship grain stuck at Ukrainian ports but has demanded the West lift sanctions.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected in Turkey next Wednesday for talks on creating a “security corridor” to unblock grain exports from Ukraine.

Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine and a barrage of international sanctions on Russia have disrupted supplies of fertilizer, wheat and other commodities from both countries, pushing up prices for food and fuel.

Read more: AU head tells Putin Africans ‘victims’ of Ukraine conflict

Cereal prices in Africa, the world’s poorest continent, have surged because of the slump in exports from Ukraine, sharpening the impact of conflict and climate change and sparking fears of social unrest.

Advertisement

The UN has said Africa faces an “unprecedented” crisis caused by the conflict.

On Thursday, landlocked Chad in central Africa declared a “food emergency”, urging the international community to help.

Ships loaded with grain remain blocked in Ukraine, which before February was a leading exporter of corn and wheat and alone accounted for 50 percent of world trade in sunflower seeds and oil.

Navigation in the Black Sea has also been hampered by mines placed by both Russian and Ukrainian forces.

In 2019, Putin hosted dozens of African leaders in Sochi in a bid to reassert Russia’s influence on the continent.

Though it was never a colonial power in Africa, Moscow was a key player during the Soviet era, supporting independence movements and training a generation of African leaders.

Advertisement

Russia’s ties to Africa deteriorated after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and China has emerged as a key foreign power on the continent in recent years.

Read more: Food purchases harmed by EU bank penalties: African Union leader

Advertisement
Advertisement
Read More News On

Catch all the World News, Breaking News Event and Latest News Updates on The BOL News


Download The BOL News App to get the Daily News Update & Follow us on Google News.


End of Article

Next Story