African leaders involved in peace talks over Ukraine have called for the unblocking of Russian grain and fertilizer exports.
South Africa noted on August 3, that the unblocking of these exports would revive the grain deal passing through the Black Sea, according to Africa News, August 4.
Only 1.3 million metric tons of grain were exported in May of this year.
The group has also called on the UN to take action to release 200,000 tonnes of Russian fertilizer stuck in European Union ports, said Vincent Magwenya, spokesman for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Leaders called for specific measures to remove barriers to Russian grain and fertilizer exports, allowing for the resumption of full implementation” of the Black Sea deal, Mr. Magwenya said during the meeting in one of the country’s capital cities, Pretoria.
In July, Russia withdrew from a UN-brokered deal that allowed Ukraine to export grain through the Black Sea, resulting in a rise in grain prices that hit hard affected the poorest countries.
The United Nations is still delivering aid to turmoil-stricken Niger who are highly dependent on grain. This is despite the loss of contact with the West African country’s military after a Kremlin supporting coup.
Moscow is demanding guarantees on another agreement regarding its own exports, in particular of fertilizers.
The President’s spokesman stated that, the call to meet some of the Kremlin’s demands was made by Mr. Ramaphosa and six other heads of state, including Abdel Fattah al-Sissi (Egypt) and Senegal’s President Macky Sall, following discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg on July 27 and 28.
In recent days, Russia has shelled ports in the Odessa region in what was a crucial move for grain exports enjoying safe passage under the deal.
Egypt, South Africa and Senegal are part of a diplomatic effort by seven African countries to end long-lasting hostilities between Russia and Ukraine.