Egypt’s leader, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, has urged Vladimir Putin to return to the Black Sea grain deal during a Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg marked by concerns about the global economic fallout from the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a speech during a plenary session of African delegations attended by the Russian president, al-Sisi said it was “essential to reach agreement” on reviving the deal, which had allowed 33m tons of Ukrainian grain to reach markets, many in developing countries in Africa.
Moscow said it had quit the deal because its own agricultural exports were still being blocked. But a number of African countries, including Kenya and Egypt, a key importer of Russian grain enduring an acute food crisis, have struck out angrily at Russia as the Kremlin seeks them as allies in its standoff with the west.
Kenya’s leading diplomatic official had called Russia’s exit from the deal a “stab in the back”.