Putin ready to boost unrestricted grain exports from Ukrainian ports – Kremlin

View of the destroyed warehouse after repeated shelling at the Mlybor flour mill facility in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on May 24, 2022.Reuters/Edgar Su/File Photo

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  • Russia ready to allow grain exports from Ukrainian ports
  • Russia will cooperate with Turkey – Kremlin says
  • Putin: Russia can export more if sanctions are lifted
  • UN seeks deal to allow food exports

LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russia was ready to engage with Turkey, according to a readout of the Kremlin’s talks with President Tayyip Erdogan. Coordination to facilitate unhindered grain exports from Ukrainian ports.

In addition to the death and devastation caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the war and Western attempts to isolate Russia as punishment have led to soaring prices for food, cooking oil, fertilizer and energy, hurting global economic growth.

The United Nations says the global food crisis is deepening and it is trying to broker a deal to lift a blockade on Ukrainian grain exports, even as Western leaders accuse Russia of extorting world ransom by blocking Ukrainian ports.read more

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“When discussing the situation in Ukraine, the focus is on ensuring safe navigation in the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov and eliminating the threat of mines in its waters,” the Kremlin said of Putin’s phone call with Erdogan.

“Vladimir Putin pointed out that the Russian side is willing to coordinate with Turkish partners to facilitate the unimpeded movement of goods by sea. This also applies to grain exports from Ukrainian ports.”

According to the Kremlin, Putin added that if sanctions were lifted, Russia could “export large quantities of fertilizers and agricultural products.”

It is unclear what Ukrainian port Putin is talking about. Ukraine’s main grain export ports include Chernomorsk, Nikolayev, Odessa, Kherson and Yuzhny.

Erdogan told Putin that peace needed to be established as soon as possible and that if an agreement was reached, Turkey was ready to play a role in an “observation mechanism” between Moscow, Kyiv and the United Nations.read more

He later told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he “particularly attaches great importance to projects that create safe sea routes for the export of Ukrainian agricultural products,” his office said, adding that he welcomed in principle the idea of ​​Istanbul as the headquarters of the “Observation Mechanism”. “.

Erdogan also reiterated that Turkey is ready to support any peace effort between Ukraine and Russia, the statement added.

Harvest Competition

Ukraine is trying to export its grains by road, river and rail to help avert a global food crisis, but would not achieve its goals unless Russia imposed a blockade, an official at Ukraine’s agriculture ministry told Reuters last week.read more

Before Russia sent troops to Ukraine, the country was able to export as much as 6 million tonnes of wheat, barley and corn a month, but exports plummeted to just 300,000 tonnes and 1.1 million tonnes in March and April, respectively.

Russia and Ukraine together account for 29% of global wheat exports, mainly through the Black Sea, and 80% of global sunflower oil exports.

Ukraine is also a major exporter of corn, barley and canola oil, while Russia and Belarus — which backed Moscow in the war and are also sanctioned — account for more than 40 percent of global exports of the crop’s nutrient potassium.

Russia has captured some of Ukraine’s largest seaports, and its navy controls major shipping routes in the Black Sea, where large-scale mining makes commercial shipping dangerous.

The sanctions also make it difficult for Russian exporters to use ships to ship goods to global markets.

Putin has said Russia will increase wheat exports in the new July-June season as its output could hit a record 87 million tonnes.

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Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Andrea Ricci

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