Putin ally calls Russia a 'continent of sanity' on state radio
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Following a call between the President and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the Kremlin said Russia was prepared to make a “significant contribution to overcoming the food crisis”. But it added that such assistance was “subject to the lifting of politically motivated restrictions by the West”.
The Italian Government confirmed in a statement the call between the two leaders “was dedicated to developments in Ukraine and efforts to find a common solution to the ongoing food crisis, as well as the severe repercussions for the world’s poorest countries”.
Fears are mounting over likely disastrous wheat shortages, with Russia and Ukraine collectively account for more than a quarter of the world’s supply.
Recent analysis suggests Ukraine’s wheat production makes up 11.5 percent of the world market, while Russia’s share stands higher at 16.8 percent.
Putin, quoted in the Moscow Times, has described as “unfounded” accusations that Russia is to blame for problems with global food supplies.
China’s most recent crop has also been “among the worst ever this year”, according to Reuters, spelling even greater trouble for the international market.
A shortage would, as the two world leaders indicated, introduce major problems to the developing world.
It would also have its toll on the UK which, already experiencing a cost of living crisis, would likely see food prices going up.
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He wrote in a post on Twitter: “There’s a name for this: blackmail.
“It’s always been Putin’s weapon of choice against friends and foes alike.”
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Professor Person added the President used this approach “both at home and abroad”.
More to follow.
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