AU chief warns Putin over impact on Africa of Ukraine war

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Senegal’s President and head of the African Union, Macky Sall, has told his Russian counterpart that he should consider the impact that food shortages caused by the Ukraine conflict are having on the continent, the AFP news agency is reporting.

The two men have been meeting in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

AFP quotes President Sall him as saying that President Vladimir Putin should “become aware that our countries, even if they are far from the theatre [of action], are victims on an economic level” of the conflict.

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He added that food supplies should be “outside” of the West’s sanctions on Russia.

Prior to the conflict, more than 40% of wheat consumed in Africa came from either Ukraine or Russia.

Before he left Senegal, President Sall’s office said the visit was aimed at freeing up stocks of cereals and fertilisers that are currently blocked in Ukrainian ports.

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African countries have been particularly affected by the price increases caused by the war.

Earlier, the Reuters news agency quoted the Kremlin as saying that Mr Putin would give an “exhaustive” explanation as to what is happening to Ukrainian grain.

In his public remarks after the meeting, quoted by AFP, Mr Putin said Russia was “always on Africa’s side”.

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