Russia will begin exporting food to African countries within a month to six weeks, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said on Friday, according to Interfax.
“We are currently finalizing all of the documents.” “I believe they will begin within a month – or a month and a half,” Patrushev told Interfax.
President Vladimir Putin told African leaders in July that despite Western sanctions, which he claimed made it more difficult for Moscow to sell food and fertilisers, he would provide them tens of thousands of tons of grain.
“We will be ready to provide 25-50,000 tonnes of free grain each to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Central African Republic, and Eritrea within the next three to four months,” Putin said at the time at a Russia-Africa meeting.
The pledged grain has been described as “a handful of donations” by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
In July, Russia terminated a year-old arrangement that had permitted Ukraine, one of the world’s largest exporters, to move grain from its Black Sea ports.
Reuters contributed reporting. Andrew Osborn edited the piece.