Russia delivered 200,000 tons of grain to African countries free of charge as humanitarian aid, President of the Russian Grain Union Arkady Zlochevsky said at a press conference in state-run Tass news agency.

“Everything is fine with it, deliveries are ongoing. We do not take them into account in the total export volumes, they are not even included in the quota – it is a separate item under intergovernmental agreements.

“As far as I know, about 200,000 tons have already gone to consumers in African countries, and the total volume should be about half a million tons. The remaining volumes are being prepared. We are fulfilling everything we declared, there are no problems with that,” he said.

In November 2023, Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said that Russia would supply up to 200,000 tons of Russian wheat to Africa free of charge until the end of 2023.

As reported by Shipping Telegraph on July 28 the Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to send grain “at no cost” to Africa which has strong ties with Moscow.

Putin promised at the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg in July to deliver free grain to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic and Eritrea, soon after Moscow withdrew from a deal that allowed Ukraine to ship grain from its Black Sea ports.

Last year Russia refused to extend the 2022 Black Sea Grain Initiative, citing as the reason that contrary to the program’s aims, most of the food exports go to rich, developed countries instead of poor ones, and that the Russian part of the agreement had not been implemented.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out that the West exported most of the Ukrainian grain to their states, while the deal’s main aim, which was to supply grain to needy countries, including African ones, was never implemented.