Russia has again called on the West to lift sanctions over the embargo on Ukraine’s grain exports. Russian President Vladimir Putin said, according to the Kremlin, that Russia is ready to make a significant contribution to overcoming the food crisis through the transfer of grain and fertilizer “provided that the politically motivated restrictions imposed by the West end.” The US government immediately rejected this request.
“It is Russia that is actively preventing food exports from Ukrainian ports and increasing world hunger,” White House spokeswoman Karen-Jean-Pierre said in Washington on Thursday. There will be tons of grain stored in silos in Ukraine and on ships that cannot be shipped due to the Russian naval blockade. Sanctions will prevent neither export nor necessary monetary transactions. Jean-Pierre said there was currently no discussion about lifting the sanctions.
Putin made his request in a phone call with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. As reported, the Prime Minister in Rome acknowledged Putin’s basic readiness to find a solution to the food crisis. At a press conference in the evening, Draghi announced that he would now speak to Ukrainian President Selinsky to get his opinion. When asked if he had noticed a glimmer of hope in public peace talks in the phone call with Putin, Draghi said: “No.”
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