President Putin says Russia is capable of replacing exports of grain to Africa from Ukraine after he withdrew from a deal allowing their safe shipment across the Black Sea.

A Kremlin statement said Moscow could provide the grain on a commercial and free-of charge basis.

In the year up to June 2022, Russia was on of the largest suppliers of wheat to Africa – exporting 10.8 million tonnes. In the same period, Ukraine exported 6.3 million tonnes to the continent.

Mr Putin said Russia expected a record harvest this year. The country will host the second Russia- Africa summit later this week.

The ending of the Ukraine grain deal was met with a statement of regret from the African Union whose member states have been particularly hard-hit by rising food prices.

Reports have suggested Moscow is pushing to supply grain via a scheme involving Qatar and Turkey, although it’s unclear if they’ll accept.

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