Putin promises to donate fertilizer to Mali

AFP , Tuesday 4 Oct 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Malian junta leader Assimi Goita Tuesday that he wanted to donate to Mali Russian fertiliser blocked by Western sanctions since Moscow's offensive began in Ukraine.

File photo showing Russian President Vladimir Putin gesturing while speaking during a meeting in Moscow, Russia, on Sept. 23, 2020. AP


"The importance of carrying out Russia's initiative to transfer for free 300,000 tonnes of Russian fertiliser blocked in European ports because of illegal sanctions to countries that need it was underlined," the Kremlin said in a statement after the two leaders spoke by telephone.

Putin said last month Russian fertiliser was stuck in European Union ports despite a deal in July between Moscow and Kyiv that allowed Russia to export its agricultural products and fertiliser despite sanctions.

Putin accused the EU of seeking to hoard the fertiliser and promised that Russia would send it, if recovered, to developing countries.

Russia is one of the world's major producers of chemical fertilisers, which are key for farmers to maintain crop yields.

UN chief Antonio Guterres warned in August that agricultural products and fertiliser must reach world markets to avoid a global food crisis.

"Without fertiliser in 2022, there may not be enough food in 2023," he said.

Putin and Goita also agreed to "strengthen Russian-Malian cooperation in the area of security to eliminate terrorist groups from Mali", the Kremlin said.

Mali's ruling junta, which seized power in August 2020, has turned away from the country's traditional ally France and towards Russia.

Russia's support has included large numbers of ground operatives, who Mali describes as military trainers but Western countries say are mercenaries with the private organisation Wagner.

The Russian leader also invited Goita to the next Russia-Africa summit, due to take place in St Petersburg in the summer of 2023.

Short link: