May 30, 2023

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Restoring the flow will benefit everyone but Africa

Russia has condemned the “hypocrisy” of Europeans in the face of a deal to free poor and developing countries from a grain crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced the European countries and Turkey as the ultimate beneficiaries of the maritime corridor that has been opened to avoid a major humanitarian crisis and famine in Africa.

Speaking at a conference, Vladimir Putin said the bulk of Ukrainian grain exports, blocked before Turkey’s sponsorship deal, were going to Europe at the expense of poorer countries.

The agreement concluded under the auspices of the UN and Turkey, which manages the flow in the Black Sea, precisely in the Bosphorus, is to enable the release of Ukrainian and Russian grain, especially wheat, to avoid a food crisis in dependent countries. of this essential substance.

Countries concerned In African countries, particularly North African countries, bread consumption is high and forms part of the dietary habits of the inhabitants of the region. The current head of the African Union, Macky Sall, personally visited Russia and asked Vladimir Putin to restore grain exports and not punish African countries that have nothing to do with the conflict between Kiev and Moscow.

The deal, signed on July 22 after tough negotiations, will allow three Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea to dispose of grain stocks within 120 days. More than 20 million tons of corn, wheat and sunflower were stored in Ukraine.

According to the Joint Coordination Center (JCC), responsible for controlling Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea, established since the conclusion of this agreement, 36% of these exports went to European countries.

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Spain leads with 15% of exports, followed by Italy (7%), Netherlands (5%), Romania (4%), Germany (3%), Ireland and France (1%) and Bulgaria and Greece. than 1%.

But Turkey remains the top destination with 20% of exports, experts note, as the country turns wheat into flour and then resells it to the Middle East.

The most vulnerable countries that should be the main recipients, such as Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Djibouti, are at the bottom. According to experts, wheat exports are low compared to other grains such as maize, which are exported in large quantities to European countries for livestock feed.

“All grain exported from Ukraine is not sent to developing and poor countries, but to EU countries,” President Putin told an economic forum in Vladivostok.

For his part, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba responded without giving exact figures that “two-thirds of the shipments are sent to Asia, Africa and the Middle East,” and for his part, China, Egypt, Iran, India, Somalia and Libya, according to him, are the main sources of Ukrainian grain. are in the countries from which the goods are received.

However, Africa is not the primary destination for this grain export, whereas it should have been initially and this move, decided and negotiated under the auspices of the UN, would essentially help poor and developing countries avoid starvation.

36% of Ukrainian exports go to Europe and 20% to Turkey, which account for 56% or more than half of total exports, excluding Asian countries such as China and India. Only two countries represent more than 2 billion. Citizens and Africa benefit from this move.

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