African Union hails Russia-Ukraine grain export deal

African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat makes a speech on October 14, 2021. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat hailed the grain export deal that Russia and Ukraine separately signed in Istanbul on Friday with Türkiye and the United Nations.

“The chairperson of the commission commends all the parties on this successful development,” said a statement issued here late Friday evening.

The deal, officially called “the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” was first signed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and later by Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov with the other two sides.

The AU Commission chairperson also congratulated Senegalese President Macky Sall, the current chairman of the AU, for having called for the resumption of cereals from Russia and Ukraine to global markets.

Sall’s visit to Russia and Ukraine last month is believed to have played a role in the eventual deal, said the chairperson.

Russia and Ukraine are breadbaskets of the world, producing almost one-third of the world’s wheat and barley and half of its sunflower oil. Russia is also a top global exporter of fertilizers and the raw materials for its production.