Putin Says Russia To Export 30 Mln Tonnes Of Grain In 2022, Can Increase To 50 Mln
President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia would export 30 million tonnes of grain by the end of the year, and was ready to increase this volume to 50 million tonnes.
He gave no details, but the agriculture ministry said a week ago that Russia was ready to export up to 30 million tonnes of grain in the second half of 2022.
The price of foodstuffs has surged around the world in recent months, leading to fears of famine in poorer countries, in part due to the conflict in Ukraine – like Russia one of the world’s leading grain producers – and Russia’s five-month blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
Since then, the situation has eased as Ukrainian exports have restarted, albeit still at relatively low volumes, under a deal with Russia brokered in July by Turkey and the United Nations.
In televised remarks to an online meeting of his Security Council, Putin reiterated complaints expressed on Wednesday that Russia and the poorest countries had been disadvantaged by the deal, which will expire in November unless the parties agree to extend it.
A U.N. spokesperson for the Black Sea Grain Initiative said on Wednesday that 30% of the foodstuffs that had left Ukraine had gone to low and lower-middle income countries.
But the United Nations has also said the export deal is a commercial – not humanitarian – operation, driven by the market.
The Kremlin said it expected Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who has also criticised the deal, to discuss the issue when they meet in Uzbekistan next week.
Russia’s agriculture ministry said on Aug. 5 that Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, expected to export 50 million tonnes of grain in the new season, which runs from July to June 2023, as long as its harvest reached the target of 130 million tonnes announced by Putin in May.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)