Vladimir Putin makes a toast as he takes part in a virtual format at the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum via videoconference in Moscow on Friday. AP
"The food market is unbalanced in the most serious way," Putin said, addressing a "BRICS Plus" virtual summit that brought together the leaders of 17 countries, including China, India, Brazil and South Africa.
Putin accused Western countries, in particular the United States, of "destabilising global agricultural production" with restrictions on the delivery of fertiliser from Russia and Belarus, and by "making it difficult" for Moscow to export grain.
"Rising prices on agricultural staples, such as grain, have hit the hardest developing countries, developing markets where bread and flour are a necessary means of survival for the majority of the population," Putin said.
He also slammed the "hysteria" surrounding grain that has been trapped in Ukrainian ports since the start of Russia's military actions, saying that it "does not solve any problems on the global grain market."
Putin said Russia is a "responsible actor on the global food market" and is ready to "honestly fulfil all its contractual obligations."
Washington and Brussels have hit Moscow with unprecedented sanctions after Putin sent troops into pro-Western Ukraine on Feb.24.Agence France-Presse
Addressing the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin said, "we are strong people and can cope with any challenge. Like our ancestors, we will solve any problem, the entire thousand-year history of our country speaks of this."
Britain's defence secretary Ben Wallace says Putin might use Russia's victory day parade on May 9 to announce the mass mobilisation of his reserves for a final push in Ukraine
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While addressing the ceremony shown live on Pakistani TV channels, General Bajwa expressed his gratitude for representing the Queen, terming it a "unique honour and great privilege.”
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The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), affiliated to the Department of Municipalities and Transport - Abu Dhabi, announced the opening of several roads with new signalized intersections on Al Reem Island, starting Saturday, August 13, to serve the public and enhance traffic flow and safety on the roads.