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Ukrainian cereals: Russia “willing” to authorize shipments

Russian President Vladimir Putin told French and German leaders in a phone call yesterday that Russia was willing to discuss ways to allow Ukraine to resume grain shipments from Black Sea ports, said the Kremlin.

Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat supplies, while Russia is also a major global exporter of fertilizers and Ukraine is a major exporter of corn and sunflower oil.

Russia’s offensive in Ukraine and Western sanctions have disrupted the supply of essential raw materials to both countries, fueling concerns about the risk of shortages and famine in the world.

“For its part, Russia is ready to help find options for the unhindered export of grain, including the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports,” the Kremlin said.

He said he had also informed French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that Russia was ready to increase exports of fertilizers and agricultural products if sanctions against it were lifted – a request he raised in conversations with Italian and Austrian leaders in recent days. .

The Kremlin leader also warned Macron and Scholz against increasing arms deliveries to Ukraine, saying they could further destabilize the situation in the pro-Western country.

Ukraine and Western countries have accused Russia of weaponizing the food crisis created by its invasion of Ukraine, which has sent skyrocketing prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizers.

Russia has blamed the situation on Western sanctions against it and the mining of Ukrainian ports.

The Kremlin said Putin also said Russia was willing to resume talks with Ukraine.

“Particular attention was paid to the state of the negotiations which are frozen because of Kyiv. President Vladimir Putin confirmed the openness of the Russian side to resume dialogue,” he said.

Talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations have taken place both in person and via video link since the Russian military offensive, but recently broke down.