Russia has sent the first of its promised free of charge grain shipments to Africa, the country's agriculture minister said on Friday.
"The first two ships with 25,000 tons of Russian wheat each have already left Russian ports for Somalia and Burkina Faso. We expect them to arrive in late November or early December," Dmitry Patrushev said while speaking at the Russia International Exhibition in Moscow.
He said about 200,000 tons of free grain will be sent to the continent by the end of the year.
Patrushev said ships bound for the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Mali, and Zimbabwe will also depart soon.
Earlier this year, Russia refused to extend the Black Sea grain deal, an agreement brokered by Türkiye and the UN to ensure safe passage for Ukraine's agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports. The deal had helped rein in spiraling prices and ease a global food crisis.
Moscow said its demands such as inclusion of the state-owned Russian Agricultural Bank in the SWIFT international payment system had not been met.
Instead, it pledged to send free grain to six African countries.