Russian President Putin warns France, Germany over arms supplies to Ukraine

Putin’s renewed warning over Western weaponry comes as Ukrainian officials have pressed Western nations for more sophisticated and powerful weapons, especially multiple launch rocket systems, to compete with Russia’s firepower in the ongoing offensive in Donbas

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, May 29, 2022, 01:26 PM IST
article-image
Russian President Vladimir Putin | AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz against increased arms supplies to Ukraine, saying it could lead to further destabilisation.

The Kremlin said Putin made his comments during a three-way telephone call with the French and German leaders on Saturday in which he warned against the continued transfers of Western weapons to Ukraine, and blamed the conflict’s disruption to global food supplies on Western sanctions.

Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz spoke to Putin by phone for 80 minutes.

The pair "insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops", the chancellor's office said.

Russia's leader said Moscow was open to resuming dialogue with Kyiv, according to the Kremlin. It did not mention the possibility of direct talks between Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations have been held both in person and via video-link since the Russian military offensive but have recently ground to a halt.

The French presidency added that Macron and Scholz also asked Putin to release 2,500 Ukrainian fighters who were holed up inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol and who later surrendered to the Russian army.

Putin said the difficulties in supplying grain to world markets were the result of "erroneous economic and financial policies of Western countries".

"Russia is ready to help find options for the unhindered export of grain, including the export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea ports," Putin told Macron and Scholz, the Kremlin said.

"An increase in the supply of Russian fertilisers and agricultural products will also help reduce tensions on the global food market, which, of course, will require the removal of the relevant sanctions."

Russia's offensive in Ukraine and Western sanctions have disrupted supplies of fertiliser, wheat and other commodities from the two countries, fuelling concerns about the risk of shortages and hunger around the world.

Russia and Ukraine produce 30 percent of the global wheat supply.

Putin’s renewed warning over Western weaponry comes as Ukrainian officials have pressed Western nations for more sophisticated and powerful weapons, especially multiple launch rocket systems, to compete with Russia’s firepower in the ongoing offensive in Donbas.

The US Department of Defense would not confirm a media report on Friday that claimed US President Joe Biden’s administration was preparing to send long-range rocket systems to Ukraine.

The Biden administration and its allies have been providing Ukraine with increasingly sophisticated and diverse arms to combat Russia’s invasion forces, including longer-range weaponry, such as M777 howitzers. On May 11, the US House passed a $40bn aid package for Ukraine, that included $8.7bn to replenish US weaponry stocks sent to Ukraine.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Maharashtra political crisis: Party doors shut for rebels, says Aadity; Uday Samant leaves for...

Maharashtra political crisis: Party doors shut for rebels, says Aadity; Uday Samant leaves for...

Angst over 'Agnipath' continues as Centre, States yet to roll out a comprehensive recruitment plan

Angst over 'Agnipath' continues as Centre, States yet to roll out a comprehensive recruitment plan

'We can learn from this': Mumbai captain Prithvi Shaw after loss to MP in Ranji Trophy final

'We can learn from this': Mumbai captain Prithvi Shaw after loss to MP in Ranji Trophy final

Huge deposits of uranium found in Rajasthan's Sikar

Huge deposits of uranium found in Rajasthan's Sikar

Maverick Commissioner: Boria Majumdar's book reveals high-flying lifestyle of ex-IPL boss Lalit Modi

Maverick Commissioner: Boria Majumdar's book reveals high-flying lifestyle of ex-IPL boss Lalit Modi