Politics, World, Russia-Ukraine War

Russia starts grain deliveries to Africa

Russian foreign minister says Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Mali, Somalia, Zimbabwe will each get 50,000 tons of grain free of charge in coming months

Elena Teslova  | 01.09.2023 - Update : 01.09.2023
Russia starts grain deliveries to Africa


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday that "the practical work" on supply of Russian grain to six African countries has already begun.

Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Mali, Somalia, and Zimbabwe will each get 50,000 tons of grain free of charge in the coming months, he said at an event in Moscow.

Russia will also pay the related expenses, he added.

Touching upon Ukraine, he said Saudi Arabia informed Moscow that the meeting that took place on Aug. 5-6 in Jeddah was organized "to convey to the Western participants and to Ukraine itself the idea" that the peace settlement between Moscow and Kyiv could not move forward without Russia's participation.

He said the West will continue to support Ukraine for only as long as it was in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.

On Russia looking to do trade in currencies other than the US dollar, he said Washington has undermined the position of the currency by weaponizing it.

At the moment, there is not enough experience to switch to any other currency, but gradually standard procedures will evolve because a lot of countries are forced to seek an alternative, he added.

Specifically, he mentioned the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), saying 90% of the association's trade turnover in 2023 will be in national currencies.

Lavrov also said that Iran, Russia, Türkiye and Syria continue contacts on the draft implementation of the roadmap for normalization of relations between Damascus and Ankara, which started in 2022.

"We have adopted a statement expressing our interest in working out a roadmap for normalization between Syria and Türkiye. We handed over the draft roadmap to all our colleagues sometime in June. Contacts are continuing now to bring it to a generally acceptable state, when it could have already been approved," he said.

Lavrov said Russia suggested Ankara and Damascus to return to the 1998 Adana agreement to handle difference over counter-terror measures.

"The US illegal support of Kurdish separatism" is another problem for the Turkish-Syrian normalization, he added.

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