Putin, Macron, Scholz discuss Ukraine situation over phone

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Putin, Macron, Scholz discuss Ukraine situation over phone

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday to discuss the situation in Ukraine and the global food security.

Macron and Scholz once again emphasised to Putin that any solution to the war must be negotiated between Moscow and Kyiv, with due respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, said The Élysée Palace in a press release.

They reiterated their insistent request for a ceasefire and called upon Putin to agree to direct dialogue with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the earliest possible opportunity.

The French President and the German Chancellor also called for the release of some 2,500 defenders of Azovstal held as prisoners of war by Russian forces.

Macron and Scholz also emphasised to Putin the urgent need for the blockade of Odessa to be lifted to allow the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea and thus avert a global food crisis.

They noted the Russian President’s promise that vessels would be granted access to the port, once cleared of mines, for the purposes of exporting cereals, and that the port would not be used by Russia for military purposes.

With this aim in view, they called for rapid progress on the work under way with the United Nations. The French President and Chancellor Scholz will remain in close contact on this matter, The Élysée Palace press release added.

Putin informed Macron and Scholz of the latest situation of Russian war in Ukraine, calming that the Russian armed forces strictly observe the norms of international humanitarian law, reported Xinhua, quoting a press release issued by Kremlin.

As for the peace talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators, Putin confirmed that the Russian side is open to resuming the frozen dialogue.

Putin criticized the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine, which could further destabilize the situation and aggravate the humanitarian crisis.

When discussing the issue of ensuring global food security, Putin said the difficulties in food supplies are caused by the erroneous economic and financial policies of Western countries as well as their anti-Russian sanctions.

Russia is ready to help find options for the unimpeded export of grain, including the export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports, he said.

An increase in the supply of Russian fertilizers and agricultural products will also help reduce tensions on the global food market, which will require the lifting of relevant sanctions, Putin told Macron and Scholz.

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