Russia looking for buyers in Africa for stolen Ukrainian grain


Bulk carrier loading grain in Crimea

Russia has bombed, blockaded and plundered the grain production capacity of Ukraine, which accounts for one-tenth of global wheat exports, resulting in dire forecasts of increased hunger and of spiking food prices around the world.

Now, the United States has warned that the Kremlin is trying to profit from that plunder by selling stolen wheat to drought-stricken countries in Africa, some facing possible famine…

The American alert about the grain has only sharpened the dilemma for African countries, many already feeling trapped between East and West, as they potentially face a hard choice between, on one hand, benefiting from possible war crimes and displeasing a powerful Western ally, and on the other, refusing cheap food at a time when wheat prices are soaring and hundreds of thousands of people are starving.

Rock and a hard place come to mind. Especially when feelings in Africa about any warnings coming from two-faced American politicians aren’t exactly welcome…or considered believable.

11 thoughts on “Russia looking for buyers in Africa for stolen Ukrainian grain

  1. Update says:

    Russian and Ukrainian officials have signed a deal to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the agreement would help ease a global food crisis.
    The neighboring, warring countries are among the world’s biggest exporters of food, but Russia’s invasion led to a de-facto blockade of the Black Sea, resulting in Ukraine’s exports dropping to a sixth of their pre-war level.
    The agreement is valid for 120 days – long enough to clear a backlog of up to 25 million tonnes of wheat and other grain stuck in Ukrainian ports.
    It may be automatically renewed without further negotiations. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/22/the-grain-export-deal-what-to-know

  2. Bloodmoney says:

    “Russia is plundering gold in Sudan to boost Putin’s war effort in Ukraine” (CNN) https://edition.cnn.com/2022/07/29/africa/sudan-russia-gold-investigation-cmd-intl/index.html
    “…The evidence also suggests that Russia has colluded with Sudan’s beleaguered military leadership, enabling billions of dollars in gold to bypass the Sudanese state and to deprive the poverty-stricken country of hundreds of millions in state revenue.
    In exchange, Russia has lent powerful political and military backing to Sudan’s increasingly unpopular military leadership as it violently quashes the country’s pro-democracy movement.
    … At the heart of this quid pro quo between Moscow and Sudan’s military junta is Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and key ally of President Vladimir Putin.”
    Article includes a timeline of Russian involvement in Sudan

  3. Aggie says:

    “War, Climate Change, Energy Costs: How the Wheat Market Has Been Upended” (NYT) https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/01/business/wheat-ukraine-war-market.html
    “…The price of a widely traded type of wheat that started the year about $7.70 per bushel jumped to $13 in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, according to futures contracts traded in Chicago, a global hub for the commodity. The price mostly stayed in double digits until mid-June, when it began to fall. On Monday, wheat traded at a little more than $8 a bushel.
    …A major factor pushing wheat prices down has been the progress of negotiations over the fate of more than 20 million metric tons of grain stuck in Black Sea ports in Ukraine. A little over a week ago, an agreement was reached to open an export corridor to allow some of the grain trapped by the war to move out across the world. For the first time in more than five months, a ship loaded with grain left a port in Ukraine’s Odesa region on Monday.”

  4. Update says:

    Almost 10 million metric tons of Ukrainian grain has been affected by the Russian invasion, according to a new analysis of satellite imagery. One in six of Ukraine’s grain storage facilities— which have a total capacity of 58 million metric tons—have been impacted by the conflict, either through damage, destruction, or falling under Russia’s control. https://www.wired.com/story/satellites-ukraine-russia-grain/
    The damage done to Ukraine’s grain supply, in addition to the effects of the Russian blockade, has particularly damning implications for countries in the Global South, where Ukrainian wheat comprises a substantial portion of grain imports. Countries like Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Yemen all rely heavily on Ukrainian grain. About 40 percent of the World Food Programme’s emergency wheat supply comes from Ukraine.

    • Perfidious Albion says:

      Russia has announced it is suspending its involvement in the internationally-brokered deal that allows Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports.
      It came hours after it accused Ukraine of a “massive” drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea.
      Ukraine’s foreign minister said Russia was “using a false pretext”.
      Without providing evidence, Russia also accused British troops of being involved in Saturday’s attack – and in blowing up gas pipelines last month.
      In its response, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Russia was “peddling false claims of an epic scale”. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63439760

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