Putin, Macron, Scholz discuss Ukraine arms, grain supplies

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Russian President Vladimir Putin wants sanctions by the West to be dropped in order to find ways to ship grain from Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wants sanctions by the West to be dropped in order to find ways to ship grain from Ukraine.
  • Russia's Vladimir Putin says the country is ready to look for ways to ship grain from the Ukraine.
  • However this will require the removal of Western sanctions.
  • Putin warned France and Germany's leaders that ramping up arms to the Ukraine, will further destabilise the situation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday told the leaders of France and Germany Moscow was "ready" to look for ways to ship grain stuck in Ukrainian ports but demanded the West lift sanctions.

The Kremlin chief also warned French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz against ramping up arms supplies to Ukraine, saying they could further destabilise the situation in the pro-Western country.

Putin said the difficulties in supplying grain to world markets were the result of "erroneous economic and financial policies of Western countries".

"Russia is ready to help find options for the unhindered export of grain, including the export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports," Putin told Macron and Scholz, the Kremlin said.

"An increase in the supply of Russian fertilisers and agricultural products will also help reduce tensions on the global food market, which, of course, will require the removal of the relevant sanctions."

Russia's offensive in Ukraine and Western sanctions have disrupted supplies of fertiliser, wheat and other commodities from the two countries, fuelling concerns about the risk of hunger around the world.

Russia and Ukraine produce 30% of the global wheat supply.

The West has accused Putin of using hunger as a weapon in Moscow's offensive against Ukraine.

As Ukraine's Western backers were considering whether to send more arms supplies to Kyiv, Putin told Macron and Scholz the continuing arms supplies were "dangerous", warning "of the risks of further destabilisation of the situation and aggravation of the humanitarian crisis," the Kremlin said.

Putin also said Moscow was open to resume dialogue with Kyiv, his office said.

Talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations have been held both in person and via video-link since the Russian military offensive but have recently ground to a halt.

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