Russian President Vladimir Putin has ruled out rejoining the Black Sea grain deal until Western nations withdraw sanctions put in place after Russia invaded Ukraine. Putin spoke from the Black Sea resort town of Sochi on Monday after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
President Vladimir Putin: “As I’ve said repeatedly, we were simply forced to make this decision, since Western countries have blocked, and continue to block, the implementation of the grain deal in terms of ensuring the access of Russian agricultural producers to the world markets. That is, they refuse to lift the sanctions on the export of our grain and fertilizers.”
U.S. officials say North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will soon travel to Russia for talks with President Putin. The two leaders are expected to discuss an arms deal that would see North Korea provide artillery ammunition to Russia for its war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports lenders at four of China’s biggest banks have stepped in to extend billions of dollars to Russian banks that have faced sanctions since Russia invaded Ukraine.