Russia begins delivering grain to Africa
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday Moscow has begun "the practical work" to supply grain to six African countries, the Anadolu news agency reported.
Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Mali, Somalia, and Zimbabwe will each get 50,000 tons of grain free of charge in the coming months, he said at an event in Moscow.
Russia will also pay the related expenses, he added.
Russia accelerates its expanding relations with Africa
Russian President Vladimir Putin told a summit of African leaders in July he would gift them tens of thousands of tons of grain within months despite US and Western sanctions.
Speaking at the summit in St Petersburg, which was devoted to Russian-African ties, Putin said Russia was expecting a record grain harvest and was ready to replace Ukrainian grain exports to Africa on both a commercial and aid basis to honor Moscow's critical role in global food security.
The Kremlin said the United States, France and other Western countries were putting an unprecedented level of pressure on African countries to prevent them from taking part in the Russia-Africa summit.
Over the past decade, Russia and China, in particular, have consolidated their relations with African states in a number of domains, from trade to energy and military cooperation.