Putin Offered Macron and Scholz Fertilizers in Exchange for Lifting Sanctions

The “misguided economic and financial policies” of Western countries and their sanctions against Russia led to problems with food supplies, Putin said. If they are removed, Moscow is ready to increase the export of fertilizers and agricultural products “Putin offered Macron and Scholz fertilizer in exchange for the lifting of sanctions” />

Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with French leader Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, according to the Kremlin website.

They discussed the food security situation in the world; Putin said that the supply difficulties arose as a result of “the erroneous economic and financial policies of Western countries”; and sanctions against Russia. “The increase in the supply of Russian fertilizers and agricultural products will also reduce tension on the global food market, which, of course, will require the removal of the relevant sanctions restrictions,” — the Kremlin said.

Putin said that Russia is ready to help find options for the unimpeded export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports. In early May, the UN reported that about 4.5 million tons of grain had accumulated there, and they could not take it out because of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The UN believes that Russia's actions led to the current situation, and some Western politicians agree with this. However, the Kremlin blames “illegal actions” for the blockade of Ukrainian grain supplies. Western countries.

Putin, Macron and Scholz also discussed the course of the military operation in Ukraine: in particular, the Russian president spoke about the work “to establish a peaceful life in Mariupol and other liberated cities of Donbass.” According to Putin, Russian-Ukrainian negotiations are “in a frozen state due to the fault of Kyiv,” and Moscow is open to resuming dialogue. In addition, the Russian president warned interlocutors that “the continued pumping of Ukraine with Western weapons” can lead to destabilization and exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis.

As the official representative of the German Cabinet of Ministers, Steffen Hebeshtreit, clarified, the conversation between the three leaders lasted 80 minutes, it took place at the initiative of Macron and Scholz. They called on Putin for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, the withdrawal of Russian troops and direct talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to Macron and Scholz, the food situation has become especially tense as a result of Russia's actions. During the conversation, “Putin assured that he wants to allow the export of grain from Ukraine by sea,” according to the website of the German Chancellor.

At the Elysee Palace, in turn, they said that Scholz and Macron urged Putin to urgently remove blockade from the port of Odessa to make it possible to export grain across the Black Sea.

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On May 26, during a conversation with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Putin said that Russia “is unreasonably accused of problems with the supply of agricultural products to world markets.” The country is ready to “make a significant contribution to overcoming the food crisis through the export of grain and fertilizers” if the West removes “politically motivated restrictions” from Russia, the Kremlin said. For their part, the press service of the Italian prime minister said that Putin and Draghi discussed “efforts to find a common solution to the ongoing food crisis and its serious consequences for the world's poorest countries.”

The next day, Putin spoke on telephoned Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and reiterated that “attempts to hold Russia responsible for the difficulties in supplying agricultural products to world markets are unfounded,” and US and EU sanctions led to problems. Washington does not agree with this. The United States is not discussing the possibility of lifting restrictions in exchange for assistance in exporting grain from Ukraine, the White House stressed.

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