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Putin Says Russia Could Leave Grain Deal Again If Ukraine ‘Violates’ Guarantees

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference following talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow, Russia February 1, 2022. Yuri Kochetkov/Pool via REUTERS Putin had not spoken publicly about the Ukraine crisis since Dec. 23, leaving ambiguity about his personal position while diplomats from Russia and the West

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened to leave the Ukraine grain deal again if Kyiv violated security guarantees to Moscow, hours after Russia said it was resuming its participation in the agreement.

“Russia retains the right to leave these agreements if these guarantees from Ukraine are violated,” Putin said in televised comments.

But he added that even if Moscow withdraws again, it “will not interfere” in grain deliveries from Ukraine to Turkey.

He pointed to Turkey’s neutrality, “the opportunities of the grain processing industry of the Turkish republic” and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s mediating efforts as reasons for the Moscow stance.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened to leave the Ukraine grain deal again if Kyiv violated security guarantees to Moscow, hours after Russia said it was resuming its participation in the agreement

Putin spoke with Erdogan before Russia announced it was re-entering the deal.

The Kremlin chief also said that even if Russia pulled out of the deal again, it would continue to “supply the entire volume (of grain) that has so far been delivered from the territory of Ukraine to the poorest countries, free of charge.”

Russia resumed its participation in the UN-brokered deal earlier on Wednesday, saying it had received written security guarantees from Ukraine on demilitarising the maritime corridor.

The announcement came four days after it exited the agreement over a drone attack on its Black Sea Fleet in Moscow-annexed Crimea.

AFP

bur/rox

CENTRAL NEWS

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