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Turkey supports Russia’s intentions to handle 1 mln tons of grain for Africa

Russia said on Wednesday that Turkey had agreed to handle 1 million metric tons of grain that Russia is going to send to Africa at a reduced price with financial support from Qatar, according to Reuters.

Moscow proposed the arrangement after quitting a year-old deal in July that had permitted Ukraine to ship grain safely from the Black Sea ports in the hope of stemming a surge in global food prices exacerbated by Russia’s invasion. Last year an agreement was reached under which Ukraine could safely ship grain from its Black Sea ports in the hope of stopping the rise in global food prices exacerbated by the Russian invasion. Now Moscow has offered to provide so-called food assistance to a number of African countries.

Russia tries to arrest attention of some African countries which have been suffering food shortages, by offering them free or discounted grain – even far less than Ukraine had been exporting. Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters:

“All agreements in principle have been reached. We expect that in the near future we will enter into working contacts with all parties to work out all the technical aspects of the scheme for such deliveries”.

Moscow says it quit the prior deal because the West has failed to remove obstacles to its own grain and fertiliser exports created by sanctions. However, the Russian government is complaining that the poorest countries receive too little of the grain released by the Black Sea deal.

After the withdrawal Russia has repeatedly attacked Ukrainian sea and river ports and grain stores, prompting Ukraine and the West to accuse it of using food as a weapon of war. Russia calls its war campaign in Ukraine a “special military operation”.

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