On Monday, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will send free food to the most needy African countries if the Black Sea deal ends on May 18.
“Only if our position is taken into account will fair and global compliance with the grain agreement be guaranteed. Based on this we will decide whether to continue participating” he said during the international parliamentary conference “Russia-Africa in a Multipolar World.”
“Russia conscientiously fulfills all its obligations, both for food supplies and for fertilizers and other vital products for the states of the African continent, thus making a contribution to their food and energy security,” Putin added.
He assured that if Russia does not extend the grain agreement, which it agreed to extend for 60 days, it is willing to “supply for free” all the volume recently shipped to the most needy African countries.
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“The further decision on the extension of the initiative will depend on the fulfillment of the conditions of the Russia-United Nations Memorandum,” the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
Moscow demands the connection of the Russian bank Rosselkhozbank to the SWIFT financial information system, and the resumption of supplies of agricultural machinery and spare parts to Russia.
The Russians are also calling for the lifting of insurance restrictions, the opening of port access to Russian ships, the restoration of the Togliatti-Odesa pipeline, and the unblocking of the assets of Russian agricultural and fertilizer-producing companies.
“Without progress in meeting these demands, which are not new… our participation in the ‘Black Sea initiative’ will be suspended,” the Russian diplomacy warned.