Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said the main objective of the deal that allowed Ukrainian grain exports to resume was not achieved, in a call with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa. 

The deal that eased fears of a global food crisis sparked by the offensive in Ukraine is due to expire late Monday -- unless Russia agrees to renew it.

"The main goal of the deal, namely the supply of grain to countries in need, including on the African continent, has not been implemented," Putin said according to a Kremlin readout. 

A memorandum on unhindered Russian food and fertiliser exports had been signed in parallel to the grain deal.

Russia however says that obstacles to its own exports remain, and threatens to pull out of the grain deal over the issue. 

"Vladimir Putin stressed that the obligations recorded in the relevant Russia-UN memorandum to remove obstacles to the export of Russian food and fertilizers still remain unfulfilled," according to the Kremlin statement. 

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The South African presidency confirmed Ramaphosa had spoken to Putin following a call with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, as well as a phone conversation Thursday with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had spoken to Putin and was confident he would agree the deal should be extended.

"We are preparing to welcome Putin in August and we agree on the extension of the Black Sea grain corridor," Erdogan told reporters. 

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Macron Says Ukraine Troop Deployment Comments Thought Through

The French president had said after a conference of European leaders that while there was “no consensus” on the sending of Western ground troops to Ukraine, “nothing should be excluded.”

But when asked by Russian press agencies, the Kremlin spokesperson did not confirm Erdogan's claims.

"There is no statement about this from the Russian side," Dmitry Peskov said. 

The deal, which Erdogan helped broker, has allowed Ukraine to ship more than 32 million tonnes of grain past Russian warships in the Black Sea. 

Ramaphosa and Putin also talked about preparations for the upcoming BRICS summit in South Africa, the Kremlin said. 

The Russian leader has been invited to attend despite an International Criminal Court warrant against him.

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The two heads of state also discussed the Russia-Africa summit, scheduled at the end of July in Saint Petersburg, and agreed to hold bilateral talks on the sidelines.

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Comments ( 1)

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Joseph Swanson
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It is sad that the global South Nations, especially Africa forget how the russians also hurted their ancestors.In 1889 russia laid claims to the village of Sagallo in present-day Djibouti.
By the beginning of the 20th Century around 25, 000 russian settlers had established themselves in South Africa. Yes, settlers  who stole black land AND displaced black South Africans! The russians were amongst the strongest supporters of the Boer Republics in the Boer War. The largest international solidarity groups raising money, material aid, medical support detachments and fighters for the Boer army were in russia and Holland and these included the royal families. The russians were totally infatuated with the Boers and admired their way of life. russian immigrants joined special detachments of russian fighters to aid the Boer War effort.

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