Amid rumors about his health and the alleged weakening of his authority due to the slow advance of the Russian Army in Donbass, Russian President Vladimir Putin has intensified contacts with Western leaders and his closest collaborators via telematics to give a triple image: that the offensive is going well in eastern Ukraine, that he will fight against sending Western weapons to Ukraine and that his country remains open to negotiating with kyiv, although so far the proposals that have come from the Kremlin have not they are another but to urge his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to capitulate.
Putin spoke today by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
, as reported by the press service of the Russian Presidency, in whose statement it is warned that "the Russian president underlined the dangerous character that the continuous shipment of Western weapons to Ukraine is acquiring and warned in this regard of the risks of further destabilization of the situation and the aggravation of the food crisis.
This problem, according to the Kremlin note, «was examined in detail (...) Vladimir Putin, with arguments and on the basis of specific data, explained the real reasons for the difficulties with the food supply: they were the result of the erroneous economic and financial policies of Western countries, as well as anti-Russian sanctions."
"Russia is ready to help find options for the unhindered export of grain, including the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports," he said, according to the statement, and further pledged "an increase in the supply of fertilizers." and Russian agricultural products, which will help reduce tension in the world food market.
In this context, the Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoli Antonov, stated this Saturday that supplying Ukraine with the new multiple missile launch systems (MLRS) would be perceived in Moscow as a "provocation" that would lead to "an escalation of the conflict". ». “We have to carefully verify this information. At the moment, we start from the statements of the Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, in which he assures that a decision has not yet been made in this regard, "Antonov pointed out. In his words, «there is a risk that such weapons will be deployed near the Russian borders and the Ukrainians will have the opportunity to attack Russian cities. For us, it would be an unacceptable situation (...) we hope that common sense will prevail ».
Precisely today, the Russian Army announced the successful completion of a new test with the Tsirkon hypersonic missile, fired from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, in the waters of the Barents Sea. The first test of this rocket capable of carrying atomic warheads took place in October 2020 and, since then, numerous shots have been carried out, the previous one last December. Weeks earlier, Putin stated that, already this year, the Armed Forces of his country will be equipped with Tsirkon missiles.
The Russian opponent and former boss of the oil company Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, exiled in London since 2013 after serving 10 years in prison, maintains in an interview with the German newspaper 'Bild' that "if they do not deliver to Ukraine the weapons they are asking for, soon we will be fighting again near kyiv.' In his opinion, "Western leaders maintain a stupid position" because they believe that they are not at war with Russia and fear Putin, when he "does consider that he is at war with the West."
The Kremlin also reported today that, during the telephone conversation with Macron and Scholz, the Russian president "paid special attention to the situation of the negotiations, which are frozen because of kyiv, and confirmed the willingness of the Russian side to resume of dialogue» to try to find an agreed solution to the current conflict.
The peace negotiations have been suspended since March 29, after a new failed agreement attempt organized in Istanbul. The next day, the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinski, declared that Moscow will never give up Crimea and Donbass, which kyiv considers "unacceptable". Days later, the Bucha massacre was the last straw for the negotiating attempts.
Now, Zelensky demands a meeting with Putin as the only way to be able to move towards a cessation of hostilities, but in the Kremlin they do not stop repeating that the delegations of both countries must first clear the way, although the truth is that the alternative proposed to kyiv is none other than capitulation. Scholz and Macron today asked Putin for "direct and serious negotiations" with his Ukrainian counterpart.