NewsVladimir Putin accuses West again – DW – June 18, 2023

    Vladimir Putin accuses West again – DW – June 18, 2023

    The essentials in brief:

    • Putin praises the African peace initiative and criticizes it at the same time
    • Kremlin spokesman Peskov expects grain agreements to come to an end
    • Selenskyj expressly thanks Germany for military aid
    • Death toll after Kachowka Dam rupture rises to 45
    • Biden against preferential treatment for Ukraine if it joins NATO

    At a meeting with African heads of state and government in St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the “balanced approach of African friends in the Ukraine crisis”. In principle he was ready for peace talks. But then he rejected essential parts of the African peace initiative.

    Putin and his point of view

    Putin interrupted the African delegation’s opening remarks to present several reasons why he considers many of their proposals to be “misguided” and took the opportunity to present his perspective. Putin said Russia is open to constructive dialogue with anyone who wants to make peace based on legitimate interests. The Russian government understands this to mean that the annexation of five Ukrainian regions must be recognised.

    Then Putin reiterated his view that Ukraine and the West started the conflict long before Russia invaded Ukraine. He also blamed the West for the rise in food prices around the world. Putin told African delegates the international grain deal does not solve African countries’ problems with high global food prices. The reason is that only three percent of Ukrainian grain exports go to the poorest countries.

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    Peskow expects grain agreements to end

    Almost at the same time as Putin’s statement in St. Petersburg, his government spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced in an interview that the grain agreement would most likely not be extended. If you look at the current circumstances, the agreement has no chance, he told the newspaper “Isvestia”.

    Putin’s mouthpiece: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry PeskovImage: Valery Sharifulin/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

    The grain deal between Russia and Ukraine was brokered last summer by the UN and Turkey, ending Moscow’s naval blockade of Ukrainian ports several months after Russia’s war of aggression began. The agreement has been extended several times, but most recently only for two months each. The current extension is valid until July 18. In essence, it provides that Ukrainian grain may be transported through the Black Sea, which is ruled by Russia. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain exporters. Many African countries are in dire need of grain supplies.

    Ramaphosa: “This war must end”

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who traveled to St. Petersburg with the heads of state and government from Senegal, Egypt, Zambia, Uganda, the Republic of Congo and the Comoros, called for all obstacles to an extension of the grain agreement to be removed .

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    Russia Petersburg Cyril Ramaphosa with Putin
    Vladimir Putin with Cyril Ramaphosa, the chief negotiator of the African delegationImage: Ramil Sitdikov/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

    As part of their peace initiative, the delegation from Africa claims to have drawn up a ten-point plan. In it, those involved propose, among other things, a ceasefire and confidence-building measures as the first step towards ending the war. “This war has to end,” Ramaphosa demanded at the meeting with Putin in St. Petersburg, as well as the day before in Kiev.

    Selenskyj thanks Germany and the West for military aid

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Western partners for the ongoing military aid. In his daily video speech, he specifically named Germany, which had just announced the delivery of 64 more Patriot-type guided missiles for air defense systems to the attacked country. “Germany, thank you (…) for your continued strength in protecting lives from Russian rocket terror,” said the head of state.

    Ukraine War |  Video speech by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
    President Volodymyr Zelenskyj addresses Ukrainians and the world public daily via videoImage: Presidential Office of Ukraine

    The death toll after the Kachowka Dam rupture continues to rise

    Almost two weeks after the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam in southern Ukraine, the death toll from the resulting flooding has risen to at least 45. The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs spoke of 16 dead and 31 missing on Saturday evening. The authorities deployed by Moscow in the Russian-occupied areas of the region had recently reported 29 fatalities.

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    Ukraine Hola Prystan body recovery after Kakhovka dam collapse
    Helpers recover bodies in the flood areas below the burst Kachowka DamImage: Alexander Ermochenko /REUTERS

    The dam on the Dnipro River in Russian-occupied territory was partially destroyed on June 6. Huge amounts of water escaped and flooded large areas. Kiev and Moscow accuse each other of being responsible for the collapse of the dam.

    Biden against preferential treatment for Ukraine if it joins NATO

    According to US President Joe Biden, Ukraine cannot hope for preferential treatment in its efforts to join NATO. Biden said Ukraine must meet all the criteria necessary for accession: “So we’re not going to make it easy.”

    For some time now, Ukraine has been urging its Western supporters towards closer affiliation and eventual admission to NATO. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had actually hoped that his country would receive an official invitation to join the military alliance at the summit meeting of the military alliance in Lithuania on July 11 and 12. However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg rejected these efforts on Friday. Instead, a new NATO-Ukraine Council is to be set up, which is to meet for the first time at the Vilnius summit.

    qu/wa (dpa, rtr, afp)

    This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from the combat zones cannot be independently verified.

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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