Journalism in the service of society

RUSSIA: Putin aims to bolster Africa ties despite Ukraine conflict

RUSSIA hosts African leaders this week for a summit aimed at boosting ties despite concerns in Africa over the conflict in Ukraine and the suspension of a deal on Ukrainian grain exports.

Isolated on the international scene since launching the military campaign in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin still has support in several African countries.

“Today the partnership is constructive, confident and turned towards the future,” Putin wrote on the Kremlin website.

At the summit in Saint Petersburg, Putin’s native city, several African leaders are expected including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The summit is the second of its kind after an inaugural one that was held in 2019 in Sochi in southern Russia.

The end of a deal that has allowed Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea to global markets, including Africa, is set to dominate the agenda.

Russia pulled out of the deal earlier this month, saying a promise to allow Russian exports had not been honoured.

Over a year, the deal allowed around 33 million tonnes of grain to leave Ukrainian ports, helping to stabilise global food prices and avert shortages.

In the last few days, Moscow has sought to reassure African partners, saying it understands their “concern” on the issue.

The Kremlin has said that “without any doubt” it is ready to export grain for free to African countries that need it.

Putin has said Moscow could return to the agreement but only if the part of the deal allowing Russian grain and fertiliser is fully implemented.

Comments are closed.

Naija Times