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Russia slams sanctions, seeks to blame West for food crisis | Russia-Ukraine war News | NEWSRUX

President Putin says to be prepared to beat the meals disaster if ‘politically motivated’ restrictions are lifted.

Moscow is able to make a “vital contribution” to averting a looming meals disaster if the West lifts sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has stated.

Throughout a name with Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday, Putin stated Moscow would transfer to beat “the meals disaster by the export of grain and fertiliser on the situation that politically motivated restrictions imposed by the West are lifted,” in keeping with a Kremlin readout of the dialog.

It added that Putin additionally spoke in regards to the “steps taken to make sure the security of navigation, together with the every day opening of humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilian ships from the ports of the Azov and the Black Sea, which is impeded by the Ukrainian facet”.

Ukraine is likely one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, however the warfare and a Russian blockade of its ports have halted a lot of that circulation, endangering world meals provides. Lots of these ports are actually additionally closely mined.

Russia is also a major grain exporter, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov stated the West “should cancel the illegal choices that hamper chartering ships and exporting grain.” His feedback seemed to be an effort to lump the blockade of Ukrainian exports with what Russia has stated are its difficulties in transferring its personal items.

Western officers have dismissed these claims. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken famous final week that meals, fertiliser and seeds are exempt from sanctions imposed by the US and plenty of others — and that Washington is working to make sure international locations know the circulation of these items shouldn’t be affected.

With the warfare grinding into its fourth month, world leaders have ramped up requires options.

“This meals disaster is actual, and we should discover options,” World Commerce Group Director-Basic Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stated on Wednesday on the World Financial Discussion board assembly in Davos, Switzerland.

INTERACTIVE - WHEAT PRODUCTION IN UKRAINE

She stated about 25 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain are in storage and one other 25 million tonnes could possibly be harvested subsequent month.

European international locations have tried to ease the disaster by bringing grain overseas by rail — however trains can carry solely a small fraction of what Ukraine produces, and ships are wanted for the majority of the exports.

The Russian defence ministry has proposed a hall to permit overseas ships to go away Black Sea ports and one other to permit vessels to go away Mariupol on the Sea of Azov.

Mikhail Mizintsev, who heads Russia’s Nationwide Defence Management Centre, stated 70 overseas vessels from 16 international locations are in six ports on the Black Sea, together with Odesa, Kherson and Mykolaiv. He didn’t specify what number of is likely to be prepared to hold meals.

Ukraine expressed scepticism in regards to the Russian proposal. International Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated his nation was able to agree on protected corridors in precept — however that it was unsure if it may belief Russia.

He stated the problem was how to make sure that “Russia is not going to violate the settlement on the protected passage and its navy vessels is not going to sneak into the harbour and assault Odesa.”

British International Secretary Liz Truss stated Putin was “making an attempt to carry the world to ransom” by demanding some sanctions be lifted earlier than permitting Ukrainian grain shipments to renew.

“He’s basically weaponised starvation and lack of meals among the many poorest folks world wide,” Truss stated. “What we can’t have is any lifting of sanctions, any appeasement, which can merely make Putin stronger in the long run.”

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