As a global food crisis brews due to the blocking of Russian and Ukrainian grain exports, the three heads of state met on Saturday.
Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone on Saturday with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, to discuss the Russian offensive in Ukraine and the export of cereals, while a global food crisis is brewing. The 80-minute interview was held at the request of Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz, according to the German chancellery.
“Russia is ready to help find options for unhindered export of grain, including Ukrainian grain from ports on the Black Sea“, assured, during this conversation, Vladimir Putin, according to a press release from the Kremlin.
According to Vladimir Putin, the difficulties with food deliveries were caused by “erroneous economic and financial policies of Western countries, as well as anti-Russian sanctionsimposed by these countries, explains the press release.
An increase in deliveries of Russian fertilizers and agricultural products could reduce tensions on the international agricultural market, “which will obviously require the lifting of the appropriate sanctionsaimed at Moscow, he pointed out.
Ukraine, a major exporter of cereals, especially corn and wheat, is seeing its production blocked due to the fighting. For its part, Russia, another cereal power, cannot sell its production and its fertilizers because of Western sanctions affecting the financial and logistics sectors. The two countries produce a third of the world’s wheat.
The Russian President hascommitted to ensuring that Russia does not take advantage of the opening of the mine belt set up to protect Ukrainian ports, to allow the export of grain by ship, to carry out offensive actions“, assured for its part the German chancellery, specifying that the three leaders were in agreement on the”central role» that the United Nations must play to guarantee exports.
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Withdrawal of Russian troops and negotiations
The two Western leadersinsisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops“. They have “called on the Russian President for serious direct negotiations with the Ukrainian President and a diplomatic solution to the conflict“, according to the chancellery.
The Russian President confirmed that Russia remains “open to a resumption of dialoguewith kyiv to settle the armed conflict, while peace negotiations with Ukraine have been stalled since March, following the discovery of the massacre of civilians in Boutcha, north of kyiv.
Arms deliveries to Ukraine
During the telephone interview, Vladimir Putin said “stressed the dangerous nature of continuing to flood Ukraine with Western weapons, warning of the risks of further destabilization of the situation and aggravation of the humanitarian crisis“, According to the statement of the Kremlin.
Finally, Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz asked Vladimir Putin to release 2,500 Ukrainian fighters who had taken refuge in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol (south) and were taken prisoner by the Russians, according to the French presidency.
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