Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to help solve the food crisis if the West lifts sanctions MIGMG News

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Russian President Vladimir Putin told Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi by phone on Thursday that Russia was ready to help ease the global food crisis, but only if the West lifted sanctions, the Kremlin said.

“Vladimir Putin emphasized that the Russian Federation is ready to make a significant contribution to overcoming the food crisis through the export of grain and fertilizer, provided that politically motivated restrictions from the West are lifted,” she said in a statement.

Ukraine called the Russian position a “blackmail”, and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Thursday that Putin was “trying to impose ransom on the world” by arming the food crisis created by his war on Ukraine.

Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports prevented it from shipping grain, of which both countries are major exporters. Russia accuses Ukraine of mining the ports.

The conflict is fueling a global food crisis by raising the prices of grain, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer.

Separately, the Russian Defense Ministry said civilian ships may now safely use the port of Mariupol in Ukraine’s Sea of ‚Äč‚ÄčAzov, where its forces were in full control last week after Ukrainian fighters surrendered at the besieged Azovstal steel mills.

She said the danger from the mines around the port of Mariupol has now been eliminated.

The ministry said that six foreign dry cargo ships in the port are now free to leave. She said they were from Bulgaria, Dominica, Liberia, Panama, Turkey and Jamaica, and urged those governments to persuade shipowners to take them out.

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