The deliveries are expected to arrive later this month or in early December, the agriculture minister has said FILE PHOTO: Farmers work with combine harvesters at a wheat field in the Orenburg region, Russia. © Aleksander Murzyak/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russia has sent two shipments of free grain to Burkina Faso and Somalia, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said on Friday. He added that the deliveries are expected to arrive later in November or early next month.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Russia’ international exhibition in Moscow, Patrushev stated that African countries are expected to receive a total of 200,000 tons of free Russian grain by the end of the year.

“The first two ships with 25,000 tons of Russian wheat each have already left Russian ports for Somalia and Burkina Faso. We expect them to arrive in late November or early December,” the minister said.

Russia will also make free grain deliveries to the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Mali, and Eritrea before the end of 2023, as part of an agreement announced by President Vladmir Putin at the Russia-Africa Forum in St. Petersburg in July.

The same month, Moscow refused to renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative, accusing the West of continuing to prevent shipments of food and fertilizer from Russia.

The initiative was initially brokered by the UN and Türkiye in July 2022, and was intended to facilitate the export of Ukrainian grain to world markets, particularly to poor countries, in exchange for lifting Western sanctions that prevented Russian agricultural exports.

Despite Western restrictions, Russia still delivered 11.5 million tons of grain to Africa in 2022. (RT)