Putin discusses with the head of the African Union the issue of grain export

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall, head of the African Union, discussed, on Friday, the issue of grain exports.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the Russian president will give “a full explanation of his vision for the situation of grain in Ukraine.”
“The president will explain to our African guests and friends the true state of affairs. He will explain once again what is happening there, who mines the ports, what is needed to export grain, and ensure that no one will close the ports,” he added.
The visit of Macky Sall, who also chairs the African Union, to Russia comes within the framework of the bloc’s efforts, especially to open the way for stocks of grain and fertilizers, the suspension of which affects the countries of the continent in particular.
The Ukrainian crisis contributed to an increase in the prices of cereals and oils that exceeded what they were in 2011 and 2008.
Russia and Ukraine together account for 30% of world wheat exports.
The United Nations fears a “famine”, especially in African countries that used to import more than half of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia.
But as the crisis worsened, there were no longer ships leaving Ukraine, which was also the fourth exporter of corn and was on the verge of becoming the third largest exporter of wheat, as it alone provided 50 percent of the world’s trade in seeds and oil before the outbreak of the crisis.
For its part, Moscow asserts that the suspension of exports from Ukraine is not its fault, but rather the result of Kyiv’s mining of Ukrainian ports.
In contrast, Russian grain exports have been largely banned due to logistical and financial sanctions imposed by the West.
The Kremlin is calling for the removal of mines from Ukrainian ports to avoid the global food crisis.
A statement issued by Macky Sall on Thursday said that the visit to Moscow “falls within the framework of the efforts made by the EU presidency to contribute” to calming the crisis in Ukraine and “opening the way for stocks of grain and fertilizers, which impede their passage to African countries in particular.”

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