Russia is seeking to exclude Ukraine from the global grain market and is proposing a plan for its supplies to Africa with the participation of Qatar and Turkey, but both countries refuse Moscow such cooperation, the Financial Times reported.
Russia has publicly unveiled the concept of free grain supplies to the poorest countries ahead of next week’s Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg.
After the suspension of Russia’s participation in the concluded UN and Turkey, an agreement that enabled the safe transport of Ukrainian grain and other food products across the Black Sea for the last year, Vladimir Putin made a proposal to runny nose paid Russia to deliver Russian grain to Turkey, which would then be distributed to “countries in need”, people familiar with the matter said.
So far, neither Turkey nor Qatar have agreed to this idea, which has not yet been formally presented. Even if that happened, Qatar is unlikely to support the plan, the FT writes, citing yet another person familiar with the matter.
Those associated with the grain deal believe Russia will push its plan forward at a summit with African leaders next week and during Putin’s visit to Turkey in August. “That’s cheeky,” one of the people said. “They want to show that they can afford it,” she added.
After withdrawing from the grain agreement, which enabled the export of 33 million tons of Ukrainian grain, Russia is intensively bombing Ukrainian port cities.
Putin said this week that Russia is able to supply grain to replace Ukrainian supplies “on a commercial and free basis.” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov and representatives of Qatar declined to comment on the “FT”.
Conversations with presidents
A Turkish official said on Friday evening that the presidents of Turkey and Ukraine, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Volodymyr Zelensky, “detailed” discussed the grain agreement during a telephone conversation, which took place on the initiative of the Ukrainian leader. “President Erdogan also stressed that Turkey is putting intense efforts to keep the peace,” he added.
Russia’s suspension of its participation in the grain deal has angered some African countries. Kenya said it was a “stab in the back” that “disproportionately hit countries” in the region.
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