Europe attempting to exclude Russia, will fail: Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Europe's attempts to exclude Russia from some formats will absolutely fail while highlighting the West's complicity in various recent developments.
Europeans are adopting a policy targeted at excluding Russia in numerous formats, including the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. However, it is impossible to do so on some matters, the Russian leader added.
Putin held a joint meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Sochi to discuss peace efforts between the two countries.
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Putin was asked during a press conference following the meeting about the correlation between the outcomes of the current summit and the talks held by the Armenian and Azerbaijanian leaders at the European Political Community in Prague earlier in October.
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"As for the meeting in Prague without the participation of Russia. Why without our participation — it is clear to us, and there is no need to explain to anyone," Putin said.
"Our European partners are pursuing their policy in such a way as to try to exclude Russia from all formats. It is completely clear, that in some situations it is absolutely unrealistic, it is impossible, for example, as in this case," he underlined.
He then continued by saying: "Therefore, as far as how it correlates, it correlates in a quite natural way, and we support everything that is aimed at reducing confrontation and settling, as I have already said about this."
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Russian President Vladimir Putin extended an invitation to hold a tripartite meeting in Sochi on October 31 to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to discuss issues pertaining to "stability and security" in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Earlier last week, the Armenian Prime Minister said that he may sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan by the end of the year and that Yerevan will initiate a meeting for CSTO leaders to discuss the situation on the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
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Over the past 30 years, Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars, with the latter working to gain control over Nagorno-Karabakh.
In the 2020 conflict, which lasted for 6 weeks, over 6,500 troops died from both sides, and it ended with a Russia-mediated ceasefire.
Only 3-5% of Grain Supplies Went to Needy, Poorest Countries: Putin
The Russian President stressed that the grain deal aimed to help the poorest countries and attend to their needs.
"This process of exporting grain from the territory of Ukraine was organized under the pretext of ensuring the interests of the poorest countries. And we did this precisely in the interests of the poorest countries," said Putin.
"I don't remember the data of the last hours and the last days, but in general it looks like 34% of grain goes to Turkey, 35%, a little more — to the EU countries, and only 3-4%, well, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, maybe sometimes it happened a little more, up to 5%, this figure fluctuates, because more is exported, there-here, went in favor of the poorest countries," he revealed.
Earlier this month, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) revealed that only a quarter of the grain exported under the UN-brokered deal with Ukraine and Russia via the Black Sea is going to low-income countries.
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Last week, Russia announced suspending its commitment to a landmark agreement that allowed vital grain exports from Ukraine after Kiev waged drone attacks on Russian ships in Crimea's Sevastopol.
The deal, brokered in July by Turkey and the UN, was made to ease up the global food crisis caused by the war.
According to Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, Russia is prepared to compensate at its own expense for the undelivered grain supplies that were due to reach African countries but didn't, as ships that were supposed to sail through the safe corridor under the UN-brokered grain deal remained stuck following Ukraine's attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet using western drones.
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The Russian Defense Ministry retrieved from the bottom of the sea and examined fragments of drones used to target Russian Black Sea Fleet ships and infrastructure near Odessa.
Russia pointed fingers at UK "specialists" for aiding in the preparation and execution of the strike, in addition to having a hand in explosions that targeted the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month. The UK replied by rejecting the claims, stating that "the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale."
The Russian defense ministry called on the United Nations to "get guarantees from Ukraine that it would not use the humanitarian corridor for hostile acts against Russia."
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Peskov warned that in light of Russia's suspension of the grain deal, enforcing the agreement without his country's participation would be "dangerous".
During the press conference, the Russian President also announced that energy giant Gazprom was permitted to inspect the site of the explosion that targeted the Nord Steam gas pipeline.
"Today, [Gazprom CEO Alexey] Miller reported in the morning that it had been examined. By the way, Gazprom was allowed to inspect the site of the explosion," Putin told reporters.
Peskov said earlier that the Kremlin regrets that the investigation into the Nord Stream terrorist attack is taking place behind closed doors and without interaction with Russia.
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During a UN Security Council meeting in early October, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said that Moscow wants a thorough investigation into an act of sabotage against the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines.
According to Nebenzya, western countries see the sabotage that caused gas leaks from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines as retaliation for Russia's actions in Ukraine.
In the same context, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the situation with Sweden denying Russia access to the ongoing investigation into the explosions that shook Gazprom's Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea highlights the West's double standards.
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Nord Stream gas pipelines were damaged by two explosions first, followed by a third and then a fourth, according to Danish officials during a NATO conference on September 28.
The first two were caused by the force of around 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms) of TNT each, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Last week, Russia's Defense Ministry revealed that the explosion of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea, which carry gas from Russia to Europe, involved the UK Royal Navy, with the ministry saying the UK had a hand “in the planning and realization of the terrorist act”.