Russian President Vladimir Putin told Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi by phone on Thursday that Russia was ready to help ease the international food crisis, but only if the West lifts sanctions, the Kremlin said.
"Vladimir Putin stressed that the Russian Federation is ready to make a significant contribution to overcoming the food crisis through the export of grain and fertilizers, provided that politically motivated restrictions by the West are lifted," he said in a statement.
Russia's blockade of Ukrainian ports has prevented the shipment of grain, of which both countries are major exporters. Russia accuses Ukraine of mining ports.
The conflict is fueling a global food crisis by skyrocketing the prices of grain, cooking oil, fuel and fertilizer.
Separately, the Russian Defense Ministry has stated that civilian ships can now safely use the Ukrainian port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, where its forces took full control last week after Ukrainian fighters surrendered. at the besieged Azovstal steel mill. He assures that the danger of mines around the port of Mariupol has been eliminated.