Russia ready to donate fertilizers to developing countries: Putin
The Russian President says his country would export 30 million tonnes of grain by the end of the year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Friday that Russia is ready to export potash fertilizers to developing countries free of charge.
"Our producers, we are primarily talking about potash fertilizers, are actually willing to donate it to developing countries that are in dire need of these fertilizers. I ask the Russian foreign ministry to work on this issue as well," Putin said at a meeting of the Russian Security Council.
The Russian President pointed out that a large amount of Russian fertilizers has accumulated in some ports of European countries due to sanctions.
Putin said that Russia would export 30 million tonnes of grain by the end of the year and was ready to increase this volume to 50 million tonnes.
A week ago, the Russian Agriculture Ministry announced that Russia was ready to export up to 30 million tonnes of grain in the second half of 2022.
In recent months, food prices have surged around the world, increasing concerns of famine in poor countries due to the war in Ukraine, which, along with Russia, is one of the world’s leading grain producers.
However, on July 22, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey signed the grain deal to provide a humanitarian maritime corridor for ships to carry food and fertilizers from the Black Sea ports. Three key Ukrainian ports — Odessa, Chornomorsk, and Yuzhne — were unblocked to resume exports.
Since the agreement has been put into effect, Ukraine has shipped one million tonnes of foodstuff from its three Black Sea ports under the UN-backed grain deal, according to Ukrainian media outlets.
In his remarks during an online meeting of the Russian Security Council, Putin reiterated complaints that Russia and the poorest countries had been disadvantaged by the grain deal, which will expire in November unless extended.
Putin said Wednesday that most of the grain leaving Ukraine's ports after the grain shipments deadlock that exacerbated the international food crisis is heading to the European Union instead of developing countries.
"Almost all the grain exported from Ukraine is sent not to the poorest developing countries, but to EU countries," he told the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. "With this approach, the scale of food problems in the world will only grow."
It is noteworthy that a UN spokesperson for the Black Sea Grain Initiative had mentioned that only 30% of the foodstuffs that had left Ukrainian ports had headed to low and lower-middle-income countries.
The United Nations had indicated that the Black Sea Grain Initiative is a commercial operation that is driven by the market.
Putin warns 'no gas, no oil' to if prices capped
In a related context, Putin said on Wednesday that Russia will stop supplying oil and gas to countries that impose price ceilings.
Capping prices, as some Western countries are considering, "would be an absolutely stupid decision," Putin told the Eastern Economic Forum in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok.
"We will not supply anything at all if it is contrary to our interests, in this case economic (interests)," he said. "No gas, no oil, no coal, no fuel oil, nothing."
The G7 industrialized nations pledged on Friday to work quickly to establish a price cap on Russian oil imports in order to cut off a key source of funding for Moscow's military activity in Ukraine.
Putin stated that Russia will honor its contractual responsibilities and hoped that other countries would follow suit.
"Those who are trying to impose something on us are in no position today to dictate their will," Putin said. "They should come to their senses."
In response to rising European energy prices ahead of winter, Putin stated that Russia would not deliver anything outside of current contracts.
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