Russia-Africa Summit: Moscow Will Offer Free Grain and Fertilizers

The Russia-Africa summit opens tomorrow in St. Petersburg, with participation of 49 delegations from 54 countries of the continent that are officially recognized at the international level. On Friday, July 28, Vladimir Putin is scheduled to make a keynote speech to be deliver to 17 heads of state and 10 prime ministers and chairmen of African parliaments. In the course of the two-day Forum, Russia will offer Africa a broad program of economic, trade, industrial, and financial cooperation. The plan of free deliveries of Russian grain to the neediest countries of the continent will be implemented. “The competent structures of the Russian government have already worked out safe logistics routes for the Russian grain, other food products, and fertilizers to arrive soon at African ports,” said a representative of the Moscow Ministry of Agriculture.

The Russia-Africa summit, like the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, should emphasize the impossibility of Russia’s international isolation, as the collective West is trying to do. The hypothesis was confirmed by Yuri Ushakov, adviser to the President of Russia on international affairs, according to whom “President Putin will be able to personally go to the G20 summit scheduled for early September in New Delhi, India.” Due to legal problems and at the explicit request of South Africa, Putin canceled his trip to the BRICS summit in Johannesburg at the end of August, leaving the Russian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

In other words, the Kremlin leader, having visited New Delhi, will be able to go to China in October to participate in the One Road, One Belt forum.

“The official invitation has been received, and we intend to travel to China in October,” Ushakov told reporters.

As long as Moscow – which Washington and its allies accuse of “conspiracy over the global food crisis” – promises to organize free convoys of grain and mineral fertilizers to Africa, the future of the Ukrainian grain deal is more uncertain than ever. “Unfortunately, it is currently impossible to return” to the grain deal “because it is not being implemented,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that President Putin “has signaled that Russia is ready to renew the agreement immediately, as soon as it gets implemented.” Last week, Moscow announced that it would not renew the agreement on grain export from Ukrainian ports, stating that “obstacles to Russian grain and fertilizer exports have not been removed.” In particular, Moscow is asking that Rosselkhozbank, the largest bank financing the agro-industrial complex, is reconnected to the international Swift system that makes bank payments possible.