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Ramaphosa discusses grain deal with Putin

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is welcomed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at an official dinner in honour of Heads of State and Government attending the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi October, 23, 2019. The Russia-Africa summit will contribute towards the overall objective of addressing the aspirations of African countries as encapsulated in Agenda 2063, which calls for a people-centered developmental process that ensures, inter alia, economic diversification and growth in order to eradicate the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Picture: Kopano Tlape/ GCIS​​

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is welcomed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at an official dinner in honour of Heads of State and Government attending the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi October, 23, 2019. Picture: Kopano Tlape/ GCIS​​

Published Jul 15, 2023

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has held talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin where they discussed the grain deal.

Putin’s office said the Russian president raised concerns about some of the obligations not being met.

Ramaphosa also confirmed discussions with Putin on Saturday. Their discussion came after Ramaphosa’s call to UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the Black Sea grain deal.

The two leaders also said they discussed the peace efforts following the visit by African leaders to Kyiv and St Petersburg in June.

Putin’s office said the two leaders will continue to discuss the peace talks on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa summit at the end of July in St Petersburg.

Ramaphosa was part of a group of African leaders that visited Ukraine and Russia where they met with Volodymyr Zelensky and Putin in June.

Zelensky confirmed on Thursday that he held discussions with Ramaphosa as a follow up to their meeting last month.

Ramaphosa had a discussion with Putin on Saturday to discuss the peace plan as well as the grain deal.

Putin’s office said there were hurdles around the grain deal that needed to be removed.

“When discussing the Istanbul package agreements Vladimir Putin stressed that the obligations envisaged in the relevant Russia-UN memorandum to remove obstacles to the export of Russian food and fertilisers remained unfulfilled. Moreover, the deal’s main goal, to supply grain to countries in need, including those on the African continent, has not been implemented,” said Putin’s office on the discussions with Ramaphosa.

“The discussions also revolved around the African Leaders’ Peace Mission and the need for a permanent and sustainable solution to the movement of grain from Russia and Ukraine to the international markets,” Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said

Ramaphosa had said in the past the war in Ukraine had led to the increase in food and fuel prices.

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