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Russia to supply 50,000 tons of grains to African countries – Putin

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, says his country will supply 50,000 tons of grains to some African countries in the next three months in its bid…

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, says his country will supply 50,000 tons of grains to some African countries in the next three months in its bid to ensure food security.

Putin said this on Thursday while declaring the Second Russia–Africa Summit, Economic and Humanitarian Forum 2023 open in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The main theme of this year’s Forum is, ‘Technology and Security for Sovereign Development that Benefits People.’

About 17 African countries participating in the summit are represented at the level of head of state.

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Putin said Russia would provide the products freely to consumers, adding that with its harvest records, it was ready to replace Ukrainian grain exports to Africa on both commercial and aid basis.

“Russia holds a 20 per cent share of the global wheat market. In the first six months of 2023, it has already exported 10 million tons of grain to Africa. Russia is ready to provide Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Somalia, and Eritrea with 25-50 thousand tons of grain each in the next three to four months and ensure its free delivery to consumers,” he said.

Putin said Russia-Africa trade turnover reached 18 billion dollars in 2023, while trade in agricultural products between Russia and Africa grew by 60 per cent.

Putin also announced the preparation of approximately 30 energy projects involving Russia in Africa, with a total capacity of around 3.7 gigawatts across 16 African countries.

He said Russian oil and gas exports to Africa had increased by 2.6 times, adding that Russia could provide Africa with unique non-energy applications of nuclear technology, including medicine.

“A Russian industrial zone near the Suez Canal in Egypt will soon launch, and its products will be exported throughout Africa.

“Russia is ready to develop Africa’s financial infrastructure and connect them to the Russian payment system.

“Russia promotes the establishment of relations between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Africa and will share the integration experience of the Union State of Russia and Belarus,” he said.

EAEU is a free trade agreement that came into being in 2015 to increase economic cooperation and raise the standard of living of its members.

Member countries include Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

He, however, suggested the establishment of intergovernmental commissions with all interested countries.

He further said nearly 35,000 African students were studying in Russia, and the number was constantly growing.

“The quota has increased by 2.5 times and will exceed 4,700 persons in 2024,” he added.

He also said Russia would supply 10 mobile laboratories and train hundreds of specialists as part of a joint programme to combat infections with 2.1 billion rubles allocated for it.

Russia proposes to intensify cooperation in sports and invites African youth to participate in Russian sports events.

“Work is underway to open TASS, Russia Today, RG, and VGTRK media offices in Africa,” he said. (NAN)

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