Russia says it is in talks on food exports to countries in need

Russia is negotiating exports of food to countries most in need after quitting the Black Sea grain initiative, but has not yet signed any contracts, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said on Friday.

Vershinin said Russia was sticking to its plans to compensate those countries for the grain they would not receive now that Russia has quit the year-old deal, in which it had guaranteed safe passage to ships exporting grain from Ukraine, despite its conflict with its neighbor.

"Agreements on this matter have not yet been signed, but contacts are under way and these contacts will continue," Vershinin said.