African Union head meets Putin as concern over food crisis grows

The invasion of Ukraine is threatening the food supply of tens of millions of people in Africa. It has prevented exports of grain and fertilizer from both Ukraine and Russia. Macky Sall, the leader of the African Union, urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to take action.

Sall met with Putin on Friday in Sochi, Russia.

Sall said that although Africa is very far from the theater of operations, it was one of the first "collateral victims." He later tweeted that Moscow was prepared to facilitate exports of Ukrainian cereals and shipments of Russian wheat and fertilizer.

Ukraine is one of the world's largest exporters of grains. Western leaders have accused Russian forces of blockading shipments.

However, Putin says the blame lies elsewhere. He said he has nothing to do with it. He said Russia's partners made a lot of mistakes are now looking for a scapegoat. He added that, of course, Russia is a perfect candidate.

He said Western sanctions are causing the shortages on the global food market. He added that one solution would be for shipments to go through neighboring Belarus, but that won't be possible until the sanctions are lifted.