Russia criticizes UN chief for calling proposal to supply grain to Africa 'handful of donations'


Russia on Wednesday criticized UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for calling its initiative to supply African countries grain free of charge “handful of donations,” Paralel.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova urged Guterres to ask the recipients how they evaluate this very "handful of donations" and what they want.

"By recipients, I mean the countries to which humanitarian aid is intended. Can we give them a word? Maybe the secretary-general should ask them before going to the cameras and making such statements? What do they think, maybe it's really extremely important for them?" she said.

The spokeswoman added that African representatives applauded Russian President Vladimir Putin when he made the announcement at the second Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg last week.

She urged Guterres to be more careful in expressions when it comes to humanitarian actions, adding: "He needs to understand that such a high position obliges."

"Everything that threatens world food security is connected with the collective actions of Western countries," she said.

Putin has promised free grain supplies to six African nations after collapse of the Black Sea grain deal.