Stay updates | Putin blames West for meals, vitality crises | Ap

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday blamed the West for rising world meals and vitality crises and repeated his authorities’s provides of secure passage for ships exporting grain from Ukraine if mines are faraway from the waters.

“In fact, we at the moment are seeing makes an attempt to shift the duty for what is going on on the world meals market, the rising issues on this market, onto Russia,” he informed Russian TV. “I have to say that that is an try, as our folks say, to shift these issues from a sick to a wholesome head.”

As reported by the state-run Tass information company, Putin additionally mentioned Western sanctions in opposition to Russia would solely worsen world markets – decreasing the harvest and driving up costs.

He mentioned inflation stemmed from the unprecedented greenback “printing press” through the coronavirus pandemic and blamed short-sighted European insurance policies for under-investment in alternate options to conventional vitality provides and value will increase.

The Kremlin chief mentioned Russia wasn’t blocking grain shipments from Ukraine and that the West is utilizing Russia as a scapegoat for its issues.

Putin pledged that if the waters have been demined, Russia wouldn’t assault grain shipments and steered they might be constructed from the Ukrainian port of Berdyansk or different nations, similar to Belarus. Berdyansk is underneath Russian occupation.

Putin’s positions on these points battle with explanations given by Ukraine and its allies.


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Comply with AP’s protection of the struggle in Ukraine at


GENEVA — Switzerland’s authorities on Friday mentioned it gained’t honor a request by Denmark to ship practically two-dozen Swiss-made armored personnel carriers to Ukraine, citing Swiss “neutrality regulation” that bans the export of struggle materials to a rustic at struggle.

The manager Federal Council confirmed the choice, reported in Swiss media this week, on Friday simply because the Swiss authorities additionally introduced that it will permit the switch of some army tools to Germany and Britain as they replenish provides that the 2 nations have despatched to Ukraine.

The announcement testified to the wonderful line Swiss authorities are treading to carry to Switzerland’s authorized requirement to stay impartial as specified by the Struggle Materiel Act, which bars the switch of Swiss-made weapons methods, ammunition and different struggle materials to a rustic concerned in a global battle.

Denmark had requested that Switzerland switch 22 Swiss-made Piranha III wheeled armored personnel carriers, which Denmark had procured and saved in Germany, to Ukraine.

Beforehand, the Swiss rejected a German request to ship Swiss-made 35mm ammunition for Gepard anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine.

Nevertheless, the Swiss govt mentioned it will permit the export of some elements for hand-held anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft weapons elements sought by Germany and Italy. It acknowledged these elements may find yourself in Ukraine, however the elements concerned would characterize lower than half the worth of the whole weaponry’s worth.

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — President Joe Biden on Friday mentioned he thinks a “negotiated settlement” will likely be needed to finish Russia’s struggle in Ukraine.

Requested whether or not Ukraine ought to surrender a few of its territory to Russia to be able to finish the struggle and produce peace to the area, Biden mentioned his coverage continues to be that america won’t make any choices about Ukraine with out Ukraine.

He mentioned “it’s their territory” and “I’m not going to inform them what they need to and shouldn’t do.”

However the U.S. chief additionally mentioned “it seems to me that in some unspecified time in the future alongside the road there’s going to need to be a negotiated settlement right here.” He mentioned he doesn’t know what such an settlement would seem like however that the U.S. will proceed to assist Ukrainians defend themselves.

Biden commented from Delaware on Friday, the one centesimal day of Russia’s invasion.

PARIS — A French individual was killed “in fight” in Ukraine, the Overseas Ministry mentioned Friday.

The ministry didn’t elaborate in its written response to a journalist’s query concerning the dying of a French volunteer fighter within the Kharkiv area.

The ministry, which holds digital written briefings, famous that Ukraine “within the totality of its territory is a struggle zone.” France advises anybody in opposition to going there “regardless of the motive.”

French are amongst quite a few overseas fighters who headed to Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s name for volunteers to hitch a global brigade quickly after Russia invaded the nation Feb. 24.

The variety of French volunteers will not be identified.

GENEVA — A Ukrainian ambassador mentioned Russia is enjoying “starvation video games” with the world by making an attempt to depict sanctions in opposition to Moscow as the explanation that grain can’t transit the Black Sea – and never Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Yevheniia Filipenko, Ukraine’s envoy to the U.N. workplace in Geneva, spoke in an interview on the 100-day mark since Russian army forces invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

As grain exports dry up by means of Ukraine’s embattled or captured ports, Filipenko mentioned Russia has sought to pin the blame for the blockage on Ukraine and Western sanctions which have been levied by the hundreds in opposition to Moscow.

“Russia has performed starvation video games just lately to place the blame on Ukraine and others for blocking Ukrainian meals exports,” she mentioned.

Filipenko mentioned Ukrainian forces have been intensely motivated to guard their homeland and would sooner or later win the struggle. She echoed calls from different prime Ukrainian officers for extra weapons.

“We’re combating for freedom of Europe and the entire world. So the following 100 days will likely be very busy for all of us,” she mentioned.

BRUSSELS — The European Union says it has focused Russian army officers linked to atrocities in Ukraine in its newest spherical of sanctions, together with prime brass accused of struggle crimes in Bucha and the siege of Mariupol.

The EU froze the property of 65 folks and imposed journey bans on them. The bloc has now focused nearly 1,160 folks, together with President Vladimir Putin, pro-Kremlin oligarchs and different prime officers over Russia’s actions in Ukraine since 2014.

The EU mentioned Friday that Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov and Colonel-Normal Mikhail Mizintsev, generally known as the ‘Butcher of Mariupol,’ have been amongst these on the record.

It mentioned Omurbekov “was main the actions of his army unit and nicknamed ‘the Butcher of Bucha’ as a result of his direct duty in killings, rapes and torture in Bucha,” on the outskirts of Kyiv.

It accused Mizintsev “of orchestrating the bombardments of town of Mariupol, killing hundreds of civilians, together with the shelling of a Mariupol maternity hospital and a theatre, killing a whole bunch of kids.”

EU overseas coverage chief Josep Borrell mentioned “there will be no impunity for struggle crimes.”

CHISINAU, Moldova — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has paid an official go to to Moldova, which borders Ukraine, in a public present of assist for the nation witnessing Russia’s ambitions within the area up shut and sheltering hundreds of Ukrainian refugees.

Sánchez mentioned Spain would arise for Moldova’s territorial integrity, in a reference to Transnistria and Russia’s army presence there.

Transnistria is a disputed, Russian-backed breakaway state that borders southwestern Ukraine. Professional-Russian forces broke it off from Moldova in 1992, and Russian troops have been stationed there ever since, ostensibly as peacekeepers.

Sánchez assured President Maia Sandu at a press convention Friday in Chisinau, the capital, that Moldova has Spain’s “resounding” assist and “our dedication to solidarity with the Moldovan authorities and the Moldovan folks at a time of nice issue and worldwide political pressure.”

KYIV, Ukraine — A regional governor in jap Ukraine says intense combating is continuous in a key city that has confronted an enormous Russian offensive.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai informed The Related Press that “fierce battles are persevering with in Sievierodonetsk,” the place about 13,000 residents left within the metropolis are sheltering in basements to flee relentless Russian bombardment.

Haidai mentioned Friday that the Russian forces have been additionally pummeling the close by metropolis of Lysychansk that has remained underneath Ukrainian management. Some 20,000 residents, or about one-fifth of Lysychansk’s pre-war inhabitants, have remained within the metropolis which has seen 60% of its residential buildings and civilian infrastructure shattered by the Russian shelling. Haidai mentioned a civilian was killed within the Russian shelling of Lysychansk on Friday.

He informed the AP that the Russians have been shelling a key freeway linking Lysychansk with Bakhmut, however that it remained underneath Ukrainian management.

LVIV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian army analyst says a Russian offensive in jap Ukraine has slowed down amid staunch Ukrainian resistance.

Mykola Sunhurovsky of the Razumkov Heart, a Kyiv-based think-tank, mentioned Friday that “the Russians are combating for each block and each road” within the jap metropolis of Lysychansk, including that “it has disadvantaged them of the initiative.” Lysychansk, the executive middle of the jap Luhansk area has turn out to be an enviornment of fierce combating this week because it has confronted an enormous Russian assault.

Sunhurovsky charged that “the Russian offensive within the area has began to decelerate, they’ve misplaced too many forces and want a tactical break.”

He famous that “time is working in Ukraine’s favor as provides of Western weapons are rising, making the Kremlin nervous,” however added that Western provides have taken time to achieve Ukraine, forcing Kyiv to “drag out time within the east to build up forces for a counter-offensive.”

MOSCOW — The Kremlin says it’ll press on with its army operations in Ukraine till its objectives are met.

Requested how the Kremlin views progress in Ukraine 100 days into the struggle Friday, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned Russian troops have succeeded of their important activity of defending civilians in areas on Ukraine’s east managed by Moscow-backed separatists.

Peskov mentioned that Russian forces have “liberated” many areas in Ukraine from the “pro-Nazi” Ukrainian army and nationalist items, including that “this work will proceed till all of the objectives of the particular army operation are achieved.”

Talking throughout a convention name with reporters, Peskov was evasive when requested whether or not Russian authorities are planning to carry referendums in these areas to hitch Russia, saying that it’s going to rely upon how the scenario evolves. Peskov and different Russian officers have mentioned repeatedly that it is going to be as much as the residents of these areas to find out their standing.

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his nation gained’t cease its resistance in opposition to the Russian invasion.

Zelensky on Friday issued a video message to mark 100 days of struggle. Surrounded by different prime officers, Zelenskyy appeared defiant.

“Our workforce is way bigger,” says Zelenskyy. “The Ukrainian Armed Forces are right here. Most significantly, our individuals are right here.”

“We now have defended Ukraine for 100 days already,” he provides.” Victory will likely be ours!”

BERLIN — The German authorities has rejected recommendations by Russia that western sanctions and never Moscow’s struggle in Ukraine are responsible for the worldwide scarcity of grains.

A Overseas Ministry spokeswoman informed reporters in Berlin Friday that “the hazard could be very massive that Russia will strive, that President Putin will attempt to set up a story that it’s the West that’s accountable for the famine threatening Africa.”

“It is a narrative that we wish to strongly resist,” mentioned spokeswoman Andrea Sasse.

Responding to an AP query about Putin’s assembly with Senegal’s President Macky Sall in Sochi Friday, Sasse mentioned it was a reality that the specter of famine in elements of the world and that some nations will likely be reduce off from grain imports are “a results of the Russian struggle of assault and never the results of western sanctions.”

A spokesman for Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Wolfgang Buechner, rejected what he known as Putin’s “anti-western propaganda” claiming that the West’s financial and monetary insurance policies in addition to “anti-Russian sanctions” are accountable for the issue.

ZAGREB, Croatia — Croatia’s overseas ministry says a Croatian citizen has been wounded in Ukraine and will likely be transferred to Croatia.

Croatia’s state HRT tv says that the person was combating as a volunteer in Ukraine. The overseas ministry informed the station that the person is secure and receiving medical consideration.

No different particulars have been instantly obtainable.

Final month, Croatian authorities mentioned that Russian troops detained a Croatian citizen who was combating alongside Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol.

MOSCOW — The Kremlin says that Ukrainian grain provides to world markets will likely be on the agenda for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s talks with the chairman of the African Union, Senegalese President Macky Sall.

Ukraine is without doubt one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil. Ukrainian authorities and their Western supporters have accused Russia of endangering world meals provides with a naval blockade of Ukraine’s ports. Russia has denied blocking the ports and mentioned Ukraine wanted to take away sea mines to permit secure delivery.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned Putin plans to provide Sall a “detailed rationalization” of Russia’s view of the scenario and “clarify once more what’s happening there, who mined the ports, what is critical to do to permit the grain move to renew.”

African nations imported 44% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine between 2018 and 2020, based on U.N. figures. Wheat costs have spiked 45% on account of the war-related disruption of provides, based on the African Growth Financial institution.

ANKARA, Turkey — A Ukrainian ambassador says grain stolen from Ukraine has been bought in a number of nations, together with Turkey.

Vasyl Bodnar, Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, informed journalists in Ankara on Friday that his embassy was getting ready to start out felony proceedings in opposition to people, corporations and ships concerned within the sale of the stolen grain.

Turkish authorities and worldwide police company Interpol are aiding, Bodnar mentioned.

“Anybody concerned within the sale of stolen items will likely be discovered and will likely be dropped at justice,” the ambassador mentioned.

Bodnar warned that corporations conducting enterprise with Russia can be barred from participating in future tasks towards Ukraine’s redevelopment.

Turkey, which has shut ties to Ukraine and Russia, has criticized Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine however has refused to hitch sanctions in opposition to Russia.

BRUSSELS — The European Union on Friday formally authorized an embargo on Russian oil and different sanctions focusing on main banks and broadcasters over Moscow’s struggle on Ukraine.

EU headquarters says Russian crude oil will likely be phased out over six months, and different refined petroleum merchandise over eight months.

It says that “a short lived exception is foreseen” for landlocked nations – like Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – that “endure from a particular dependence on Russian provides and don’t have any viable different choices.”

Bulgaria and Croatia will even get “non permanent derogations” for sure sorts of oil. EU leaders say the transfer implies that round 90% of Russia’s oil exports to Europe will likely be blocked by 12 months’s finish. The EU imports round 25% of its oil from Russia.

Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, plus Credit score Financial institution of Moscow, Russian Agriculture Financial institution and the Belarusian Financial institution for Growth and Reconstruction have additionally been blocked from utilizing the SWIFT system for worldwide financial institution transfers.

Broadcasters Rossiya RTR/RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24 / Russia 24 and TV Centre Worldwide have suspended their broadcasting actions within the EU over allegations that they’re being utilized by Moscow “to govern info and promote disinformation concerning the invasion of Ukraine.”

BERLIN, Germany — The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament has met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and attended a session of Germany’s parliament throughout a go to to Berlin.

Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, was greeted with a standing ovation as he was welcomed Friday by German counterpart Baerbel Bas.

Stefanchuk informed Germany’s Funke newspaper group forward of his assembly with the chancellor that he wished to ask Scholz to Kyiv to provide a speech to Ukrainian lawmakers.

Scholz hasn’t visited Ukraine because the struggle started, although Germany’s overseas and improvement ministers have.

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