MOSCOW, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - Egypt will continue buying grain from Russia even after it had to return a shipment of grain to Russia, the country's ambassador to Moscow said on Wednesday.
"There were problems with one small batch, but Russia remains Egypt's main grain supplier,"
Ezzat Saad ElSayed said at a news conference in Moscow.
He added that Russian and Egyptian officials have agreed to sign a long-term agreement on Russian grain supplies. So far this year, Egypt has bought about 1.5 million metric tons of Russian grain.
Egyptian prosecutors ruled to impound the Russian wheat imports on May 13 after complaints by local officials over poor quality grain. The Egyptian Health Ministry later confirmed that Russian wheat supplies to the African country were in compliance with food safety requirements.
Inspectors from the Egyptian Health Ministry said the grain contained admixtures, insects and heavy metals above the permissible levels. About half the batch was later returned to Russia, and the supplier was ordered to return $9.6 million.
Egypt is one of the world's largest grain importers, buying up to 8.2 million tons annually. Russia meets almost 50% of Egypt's grain needs, while other major suppliers are Ukraine, the United States and Kazakhstan.