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Friday, December 8, 2023

Moscow says it has launched “free” grain deliveries to African countries

Russia announced in a press release on Friday that it had started the delivery of “free” cereals promised by Vladimir Putin to six African countries during the Russia-Africa summit a little over three months ago. Who will benefit, in what quantities?

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The first two ships, each loaded with 25,000 tonnes, are already on their way, according to the Russian Minister of Agriculture. They are heading towards Somalia and Burkina Faso, which they should reach at the end of November-beginning of December, he specifies.

Dmitri Patrushev also announced that other ships, this time destined for the four other countries concerned, the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Mali and Eritrea, will be sent before the end of the year. The Russian official promises a total of some 200,000 tonnes by the end of the year for these African countries.

This cereal delivery program, “free” according to Moscow, is the fulfillment of a promise dating from the last Russia-Africa summit in July in Saint Petersburg. Vladimir Putin, who had just torpedoed the agreement on Ukrainian grain, had committed to delivering grain free of charge to these African countries. A desire in particular to calm the concern publicly expressed by several African countries, very dependent on the import of cereals from kyiv.

But we are a long way from the quantities of cereals that Ukraine exported to Africa, experts point out. They also point out the fact that these deliveries constitute “ real levers of influence and power » for the Russian president.

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