Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the European Union (EU) on Tuesday (20) of blocking the donation of 300,000 tons of Russian fertilizer to countries that need it most, at a time when Moscow complains of obstacles to Western exports.
“The height of cynicism is that even our offer to freely transfer 300,000 tons of Russian fertilizers blocked in European ports due to sanctions to countries that need them remains unanswered,” Putin criticized at an accreditation ceremony for some 20 ambassadors.
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“It is clear that they do not want our companies to make money, but we want to give (these tons of fertilizer), free of charge, to countries in need,” he said.
Russia, a world grain power, cannot sell its production and fertilizers because of Western sanctions affecting the financial and logistics sectors.
By 2021, Russia was the first exporter of nitrogen fertilizers and the second supplier of potassium and phosphorus fertilizers, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
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On Tuesday, Putin again criticized the “illegitimate sanctions” adopted by some Western countries “to strengthen their position,” which “have negative consequences for themselves,” but also “for totally innocent states (that) suffer from such a policy – in the first place, the developing and poorest countries”.
According to him, the countries of Africa, South Asia and Latin America “find themselves mainly affected by Western restrictions on the supply of Russian energy, food and fertilizer on world markets”.
The statements come at a time when Moscow is increasingly questioning two agreements reached in July of this year in Istanbul that allow the export of wheat and corn from Ukraine despite the Russian offensive.
The Kremlin claims, among other points, that most Ukrainian food goes to European countries, which Kiev denies.
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