Putin says Russian grain exports to remain high

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President Vladimir Putin said Russia would continue to export large quantities of grain next year despite Western sanctions triggered by Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.

“Last year, as you know, there was a historically record harvest of 158 million tons (of cereals). This year it will also be very big with over 130 millions,” Putin said.

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“Russia is likely to retain the first place in the world in wheat exports. Our grain exports will also be the same as last year with not less than 50-60 million tons,” he continued.

Putin was taking part in a meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an organisation gathering some post-Soviet states.

“Our friends and colleagues in the CIS have needs (for Russian grain), all of which will be fulfilled,” said Putin.

In early September the Russian leader said his country was nearing a deal that would secure free grain to six African countries.

Simultaneously Moscow has been complaining that the West is imposing indirect restrictions on its grain and fertiliser exports by limiting its access to global payment systems and insurance.

It said these hindrances pushed it to withdraw from a deal designed to ensure safe grain exports via the Black Sea.

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