After meeting President Vladimir Putin in Sochi today.
Sall warned EU leaders as recently as Tuesday that Russian propaganda blaming Western sanctions on the global food crisis was already spreading in Africa, a continent heavily dependent on imported food and fertilizer from Russia and Ukraine.
But after meeting Putin three days later, Sall’s message was strikingly similar to Moscow’s line.
He said Russia “is ready” to export its wheat and fertilizers, and called on the “partners” to lift the sanctions imposed on them. Neither the United States nor the EU has sanctioned Russian fertilizers or wheat, but the African Union fears that sanctions against Russia’s financial system will make it harder for countries to buy them.
room tweeted that Putin “expressed his readiness to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain,” even as Russia has bombed or blockaded Ukrainian Black Sea ports like Kherson, Mariupol and Odessa since its invasion began in February. About 20 million tons of cereals are blocked in the country.
The United Nations and Turkey are trying to broker a deal with Russia and Ukraine to create protected shipping lanes allowing grain ships to leave those ports, but it’s unclear whether those efforts will succeed.
Sall met Putin alongside Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, who reference the “historic and strong brotherly relations” between Russia and Africa.