Scholz and Macron talked to the Russian President about the Ukraine war for 80 minutes. Putin is open to dialogue – and at the same time addresses arms deliveries.
During a phone call with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine.
That carries the risk of further destabilizing the situation and worsening the humanitarian crisis, Putin said, according to a statement released by the Kremlin in Moscow on Saturday. In the 80-minute conversation, Scholz and Macron again called for an end to the war, as the spokesman for the federal government, Steffen Hebestreit, announced.
“The Chancellor and the French President pushed for an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops,” said Hebestreit. “They called on the Russian president to engage in serious direct negotiations with the Ukrainian president and find a diplomatic solution to the conflict.” According to the Kremlin, Putin emphasized Moscow’s willingness to resume negotiations on a solution to the conflict, which had been frozen “due to Kiev’s fault”.
The Kremlin said that the phone call also dealt in detail with food safety in the world. The West, including Germany and France, is calling on Russia to end the blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports so the country can start exporting wheat again. Putin once again blamed the “flawed economic and financial policies of Western countries” and “anti-Russian sanctions” for the problems. The federal government always points out that there are no sanctions against food. Ukraine has accused Russia of blackmail in linking the fight against world hunger to the issue of sanctions.
Russia is ready to discuss various options for unhindered grain exports, including the transportation of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea, Moscow said. Tensions in the food market could also be eased by reducing sanctions, Putin said. Russia could intensify its export of fertilizers and agricultural products.
According to the federal government, Scholz and Macron complained about the tense situation on the global food market. “President Putin promised that an opening of the mine belt, which was laid to protect the Ukrainian ports in order to enable the export of grain via ships, would not be misused by Russia for offensive actions,” said Hebestreit. The United Nations should play a central role in reaching an agreement and implementing it.
According to the information, the Kremlin chief also informed about the course of the military special operation, as Putin calls the war. In the port city of Mariupol, which was occupied by Russian troops, and other towns in the Donbass, “systematic work to restore peaceful life” is being organized.
During the conversation on their initiative, the Chancellor and Macron also demanded that Russia improve the humanitarian situation of the civilian population. Putin has assured that the fighters captured in the port city of Mariupol will be treated in accordance with the requirements of international humanitarian law. The International Committee of the Red Cross should also have unhindered access to the prisoners. In Paris it was said that Macron and Scholz had called for the fighters to be released.