Putin has said that most of the grain leaving Ukrainian ports after the blockade that triggered the global food crisis reaches the European Union (EU) rather than developing countries.
“We did everything to get grain out of Ukraine (…). We did it together with Turkey. If we reject Turkey as an intermediary country, then practically all the grain exported from Ukraine is directed not to the poorest developing countries, but to the countries of the European Union”, said V. Putin, speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
“Perhaps it is worth thinking about how to limit the export of grain and the trade of food products on that route?” I will certainly discuss this with the President of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan,” the Russian president added.
Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said Russia has no reason to renegotiate an agreement allowing Ukraine to export grain from Black Sea ports and that the terms of the agreement are being strictly enforced.
Speaking to Reuters, Mr. Podoliak called Russia’s position “unexpected” and “unfounded.”
Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain producers and exporters, has had its grain exports blocked by sea for several months due to Russia’s military invasion that began at the end of February.
The export blockade has driven up global food prices and fueled fears of a possible famine, especially in the poorest countries.
Exports of Ukrainian grain and other food products and fertilizers through three Black Sea ports resumed in early August under an agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey between Kyiv and Moscow in July.
The agreement, which obliged Russia to end its blockade of Ukrainian ports, set conditions for the export of wheat and other grains.
V. Putin also strongly criticized Western sanctions on Wednesday. They are said to be short-sighted and “endanger the whole world”.
The West has harmed the world economy by “aggressively” trying to establish its dominance around the world, said V. Putin. The world, according to him, is increasingly focused on Asia. The Asia-Pacific region is said to be gaining ground.
V. Putin stated on Wednesday that it is “impossible” to isolate Russia because of Moscow’s military operations in Ukraine experiencing unprecedented Western sanctions.
“No matter how much someone wants to isolate Russia, it is impossible to do that,” Putin said.
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