Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken to the leader of the Sahel country of Mali about possible supplies by Russia of food, fuel, and fertilizer.
The leader of the poor and torn country, Assimi Goita, thanked Putin for the support he offered.
Goita came to power in a military coup in 2020 and has had numerous conflicts with Western and neighbouring countries. It was the fourth coup since the country gained independence from France in 1960. He uses controversial Russian mercenaries to fight jihadists in Mali.
Mali has more than 21 million inhabitants and, like other African countries, suffers from losing a large part of essential imports due to export problems in Ukraine and Russia.
Moscow says that the Russian invasion has blocked Ukrainian ports and that trade sanctions hamper Russia’s exports.