Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he gives a “priority” to relations with African countries as he looks for international partners in the face of Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.
“I want to emphasise that our country has always given and will continue to give priority to co-operation with African states,” Mr Putin said on Monday at a conference on Russian-African relations in Moscow.
He said Russia will supply food to needy countries in Africa free of charge if an agreement on Ukrainian grain exports is not renewed.
“We are ready to supply the whole volume sent during the past time to African countries particularly requiring it from Russia free of charge to these countries,” he said, according to the Russian news agency Tass.
He said Russia will share its technologies with African nations and continue helping them produce electricity.
Russia has been expanding its influence in Africa in recent years and Mr Putin said he believes the continent will continue increasing its authority and role in the “emerging multipolar world order”.
The conference is being attended by more than 40 delegations from African countries, according to Kremlin’s press service.
Mr Putin is scheduled to host African leaders in June for the Russia-Africa summit – the second of its kind.