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On Germany's accusation that Moscow is turning hunger into a weapon, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is not blocking grain exports from Ukraine.
Speaking at a BRICS+ video conference on Friday, the Russian President replied to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock's allegations that Russia is blocking Ukrainian grain shipments, taking the "the whole world hostage."
Criticizing the West's "cynical attitude," Putin said the food supply of developing nations has been the hardest hit by rising prices and added that the West's rising inflation is "the result of its own irresponsible macroeconomic policies."
The Russian President also said Moscow is ready to allow free passage to international waters for ships carrying grain. He said that Russia has come to an "understanding" about it with the UN Secretariat.
In this regard, Putin said that to facilitate exports further, the Ukrainian military should de-mine the country's ports. What is lacking is a constructive approach from Ukraine, Putin said.
������ Vladimir Putin: “#Russia is not preventing the export of #Ukraine’s grain from its territory; we are ready to ensure safe passage of grain ships via international waters if, of course, the #Ukrainian military demines the ports and nearby waters”
According to Putin, Russia could export between 37 and 50 tons of grain this year. On the other hand, about 22 and 25 million tons of grain stuck in Ukrainian ports have failed to reach the world market due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
While Western countries insist on blaming Russia for blocking Ukraine's ports, Moscow continues to say that it would ensure a safe passage of grain shipments should Kiev de-mine its ports. Exporting grain via the Beryansk and Mariupol ports, which Russia controls, has also been proposed by Moscow.