MOSCOW, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Russia had begun free shipments of grain totaling up to 200,000 tons to Africa by the end of the year, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said Friday.
"The first two ships, each carrying 25,000 tons (of grain), have already left Russian ports and are heading for Somalia and Burkina Faso," he said.
The ships are expected to arrive in the two African countries by the end of this month or early December, Patrushev said.
Moscow also plans to supply the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Mali, and Eritrea with wheat before the yearend, he added. ■