African leaders attending a summit in Russia pressed President Vladimir Putin on Friday to move ahead with their peace plan to end the Ukraine war and renew a deal on the export of Ukrainian grain that Moscow tore up last week.
While not directly critical of Russia, their interventions on day two of the Russia-Africa Summit served as pointed reminders to Putin of the depth of African concern at the consequences of the war, especially for food prices.
”The African (peace) initiative deserves the closest attention, it mustn’t be underestimated,” Congo Republic President Denis Sassou Nguesso told Putin and fellow African leaders in Saint Petersburg.
”We once again urgently call for the restoration of peace in Europe,” he said via a translator.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Russia to revive the Black Sea grain deal which, until Moscow refused to renew it last week, had allowed Ukraine to export grain from its seaports despite the war. Sisi, whose country is a key buyer of grain via the Black Sea route, told the summit it was ”essential to reach agreement” on reviving the deal.
Putin responded by arguing, as he has in the past, that rising world food prices were a consequence of Western policy mistakes that long predated the Ukraine war. He said Russia quit the Black Sea agreement last week because it was not getting grain to the poorest countries, and the West was not keeping its side of the bargain. Läs artikel