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Russia Ready to Send Tunisia More Grain – Lavrov

During a visit to Tunisia, the North African nation facing shortages due to drought, Moscow’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared on Thursday that Russia was prepared to provide more food to the country.

Lavrov stated that Russia was eager to assist Tunisia and that the country’s agricultural yields had been good “for the second or third year in a row” during a meeting with President Kais Saied of Tunisia in the capital.

“There is interest in increasing deliveries of our grain,” said Lavrov, without specifying the conditions or cost.

“We are ready to do it.”

Drought has afflicted Tunisia for the last four years, severely harming the country’s last grain season.

The nation in North Africa is largely dependent on imports for its grain needs and won’t be able to get enough durum wheat, soft wheat, or barley until at least spring 2024.

In an effort to strengthen its position on the continent, President Vladimir Putin declared this summer that Russia will provide free grain to six African nations: Mali, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, and Somalia.

Burdened by poor growth and about eighty percent of its GDP in debt, Tunisia does not have enough cash on hand to pay for its imports.

Upon meeting with Nabil Ammar, the foreign minister of Tunisia, Lavrov declared, “We agreed to develop our cooperation in all sectors.”

“Promising areas” for bilateral collaboration, including energy, technology, nuclear power, and agriculture, were mentioned by the top Russian ambassador.

Lavrov, whose most recent visit to Tunisia was in 2019, hinted that Moscow does not want to displace Tunisia’s current allies, which include the US and the EU, which are the country’s principal commercial partners and sources of aid.

“Russia never seeks to forge friendly ties with the aim of countering others,” said Lavrov. “Unfortunately, our Western colleagues have been prone to making friends in opposition to others.”

The Tunisian presidency in a statement underlined “the historic relations which unite our country with Russia”.

Tunis wishes to “further strengthen these strong bonds of friendship and fruitful cooperation”, the presidency said.

Written by PH

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