New Delhi: “We confirmed the commitment of Russian exporters of cereal products to meet their orders in full,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference after talks with Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.
“President Vladimir Putin stressed this during a recent telephone call with Egyptian President (Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi.”
Lavrov’s visit follows quickly on the heels of a historic agreement that Russia and Ukraine signed on Friday with the United Nations and Turkey in an effort to alleviate a worldwide food crisis brought on by halted grain shipments across the Black Sea.
Between 20 million and 25 million tonnes of grain has been blocked in Ukrainian ports since Russian troops invaded in February, as Ukraine has laid naval mines to prevent an amphibious invasion of its coast.
The deal is aimed at creating safe corridors for grain exports from three Ukrainian ports and seeks to facilitate Russian grain exports by removing them from the scope of Western sanctions.
“The (UN) secretary general (Antonio Guterres) took responsibility for lifting these illicit restrictions, imposed by the United States and the European Union against (Russian) financial and supply chains,” Lavrov said.
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 85% of Egypt’s wheat imports came from these two nations.
Russia’s top diplomat, after Egypt, is scheduled to visit Uganda, Ethiopia and Congo.