Vladimir Putin discusses sending fertilizer in call with junta leader

Vladimir Poutine spoke Tuesday October 4 by telephone with the head of the Malian junta Assimi Goïta, affirming that he wished to distribute in Mali Russian fertilizers blocked because of Western sanctions since the offensive in Ukraine.

“The importance of realizing Russia’s initiative regarding the free delivery to countries in need of about 300,000 tons of fertilizer was highlighted. [russes] blocked in European ports because of illegal sanctions”, the Kremlin said in a statement. Without going into the details of the conversation, the head of the Malian junta for his part welcomed on Twitter “a win-win partnership based on mutual respect”.

Read also: Mali receives new military equipment from Russia

In September, the Russian president claimed that these fertilizers remained stuck in European Union (EU) ports, despite the agreement reached between Moscow and kyiv to allow the export of Ukrainian cereals from Black Sea ports and to lift Western sanctions hindering that of Russian agricultural production.

Vladimir Putin had accused the EU of wanting to appropriate these fertilizers and promised that, if Moscow managed to recover them, they would be delivered free of charge to developing countries. According to the Kremlin, the Russian and Malian leaders also shared the will on Tuesday “to strengthen Russian-Malian cooperation in the security sphere to eradicate terrorist groups from the entire territory of Mali”.

Read the editorial: The worrying Russian drift of Mali

Colonel Assimi Goïta and a group of senior officers took power by force in August 2020. They then decided to separate from the old French ally, engaged militarily against the jihadists since 2013, and to relaunch cooperation with Russia. Mali has since received weapons from Moscow and welcomed in large numbers what the junta presents as Russian instructors. Westerners say that these instructors work for the private Russian security company Wagner, whose actions are decried. The junta denies.

The last official telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Assimi Goïta dates back to mid-August, after the delivery of new Russian military equipment. On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin also invited Assimi Goïta to participate in the next Russia-Africa summit, which is to be held in the summer of 2023 in Saint Petersburg.

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The World with AFP

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