Putin discusses Ukraine, food security with Macron, Scholz

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates military and civilian personnel and veterans of the Border Guards Service on Border Guard's Day, at Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow on May 28, 2022. (MIKHAIL METZEL / SPUTNIK / AFP)

MOSCOW / KIEV – 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.

Putin informed Macron and Scholz of the latest developments of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, noting that the Russian armed forces strictly observe the norms of international humanitarian law, the Kremlin said in a press release.

Putin informed Macron and Scholz of the latest developments of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, noting that the Russian armed forces strictly observe the norms of international humanitarian law, the Kremlin said

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

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

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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.

Also on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he had discussed defense support for Ukraine in a phone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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"We talked about strengthening defense support for Ukraine, intensifying work on security guarantees," Zelensky tweeted.

The Ukrainian leader added that the parties also touched upon the issue of supplying fuel for Ukraine amid the energy crisis.

Earlier this month, Johnson announced that the British government will provide 1.3 billion pounds (about $1.64 billion) in military aid for Ukraine.  

Meanwhile, Ukraine is receiving Harpoon anti-ship missiles and ground-based launchers, the country's Defense Ministry said Saturday on Facebook.

"The latest weapons are provided by Denmark, Great Britain and the Netherlands. Other countries will join this process," the ministry said, adding that the missiles will be used to defend Ukraine from Russian naval forces in the Black Sea.

Three types of 155-mm artillery, namely the M777 howitzers, FH70 howitzers and CAESAR self-propelled howitzers, have already arrived in Ukraine and are working on the frontlines, Ukrainian Defense Minister Olexiy Reznikov said in a separate statement.