Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Putin says Ukraine ‘sabotaging’ negotiating process

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of “sabotaging” the negotiating process between the two countries, the Kremlin said, citing comments he made to Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in a phone call.

Putin also informed Nehammer about actions that Russia was taking to secure safe passage for vessels in the Azov and Black Seas, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin has told Karl Nehammer that attempts to blame Russia for difficulties shipping grain worldwide were unfounded and pointed to Western sanctions being responsible instead, the Kremlin said.

“Vladimir Putin stressed that attempts to make Russia responsible for the difficulties with the supply of agricultural products to world markets are groundless,” the Kremlin said after the phone call.

“Detailed explanations have been given of the real causes of these problems, which have emerged due to anti-Russian sanctions by the United States and the European Union, among other things.”

Nehammer has said Russian President Vladimir Putin told him on a telephone call that Moscow would meet its natural gas delivery commitments and was ready to discuss a prisoner swap with Ukraine.

Asked what Putin had told him about gas deliveries, Nehammer said: “He also raised the subject [and said] that all deliveries would be completed in full.”

In a separate statement, the Kremlin said Russia had reaffirmed its commitment to comply with contractual obligations on natural gas supplies to Austria, which gets 80 percent of its gas from Russia.

Nehammer, who visited Russia last month for talks with Putin, said the Russian leader had expressed readiness to discuss a prisoner swap with Ukraine.

“If he is really ready to negotiate is a complex question,” he added.

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