Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urged the European Commission to purchase Ukrainian grain that had been rejected by EU members and redirect it to African countries facing food shortages.
“Since the European Commission is wasting tens of billions of dollars on Ukraine… it can buy the grain that Ukraine wants to sell and EU countries don’t want [to buy] for reasons of competitiveness, and send it to Africa,” Lavrov said as cited by state news agency TASS.
He added that Ukrainian grain is “being supplied to European countries in abundance,” but many of them don’t want to buy it, because “they have their own farmers and don’t want them to go bust due to competition.”
Lavrov added that 260,000 metric tons of Russian fertilizers have been stranded in EU ports since 2022. “But we are ready to give these fertilizers to African countries for free. It took six months to deliver the first batch of 20,000 tons to Malawi, and another three months to take another 30,000 tons to Kenya,” he added. “We also have 34,000 tons for Nigeria, but have so far been unable to send it.”
In July, Russia withdrew from an agreement brokered by Turkey and the UN that had enabled Ukraine, a major global grain exporters, to transport grain from its Black Sea ports. Ukraine and the West accused Russia of causing hunger in Africa, where most nations relied on grain imports.
Mid-September, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara was working with Moscow on the supply of 1 million tons of Russian grain to African countries.
“Much more grain should be supplied to African countries, to countries in need. I have had negotiations with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and we set a task of supplying 1 mln tons of grain to poor African countries,” Erdogan said.