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Uganda's FM urges Moscow to consider plight of African nations over Ukraine grain deal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ugandan counterpart Odongo Jeje Abubakhar attend a signing ceremony following their talks in Moscow on May 18, 2023.   -  
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Uganda's foreign minister has held a top level meeting with Russia's Sergei Lavrov over the Ukraine black sea grain deal. Meeting in Moscow Thursday, Jeje Odongo, told a joint news conference that he had urged parties involved to consider the plight of "many African countries, who depend on grain for wheat and bread."

"Quite a number of African countries, particularly in the northern part of Africa, depend on grain, particularly for wheat and bread. We understand their plight. But we think whatever should be done, should be done in the interests of those in need and not to use their need to the advantage of others." Odongo said at the news conference.

Sergey Lavrov however said the next two months would help decide the fate of a deal which allows Ukraine to ship grain through the Black Sea.

"Of course, we would like to understand what specific initiatives (South African) President Ramaphosa and his African colleagues, including Uganda's President (Yoweri) Museveni, would like to come up with in order to discuss with us. We are open, as I have said many times, to any serious and engaged proposals from any state." Lavrov said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said Moscow had agreed to extend the agreement for two months.

Russia had set a Thursday deadline for its concerns to be ironed out or had threatened to bow out, but neither Moscow nor Erdogan immediately commented on any concessions the Russians may have received.

Lavrov also commented on an initiative by South Africa's president to broker peace, saying Russia was open to any "serious and engaged proposals."

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