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Former German chancellor Schroeder says Ukraine grain deal could pave approach for ceasefire By Reuters

© Reuters. Ukrainian servicemen hearth with a BM21 Grad a number of launch rocket system in a frontline in Kharkiv area, as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, Ukraine August 2, 2022. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova


By Madeline Chambers and Can Sezer

BERLIN/ISTANBUL (Reuters) -The deal between Moscow and Kyiv to unblock Ukrainian grain exports could provide a approach ahead to a attainable ceasefire within the five-month battle, mentioned former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, a pal of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The primary grain-carrying ship to depart Ukrainian ports in wartime safely anchored off Turkey’s coast on Tuesday and is because of be inspected on Wednesday.

“The excellent news is that the Kremlin needs a negotiated resolution,” Schroeder instructed Stern weekly and broadcasters RTL/ntv on Wednesday, including he had met Putin in Moscow final week.

“A primary success is the grain deal, maybe that may be slowly expanded to a ceasefire,” he mentioned.

Schroeder, chancellor from 1998 to 2005, has criticised the struggle in Ukraine however refused to sentence Putin.

In the meantime, Russia has accused the USA of being straight concerned within the battle in Ukraine and never simply supplying Kyiv with arms.

Russia’s defence ministry, headed by an ally of Putin, mentioned feedback made by Vadym Skibitsky, Ukraine’s deputy head of army intelligence, to Britain’s Telegraph newspaper confirmed that Washington was entangled within the battle.

Skibitsky instructed the paper there was session between U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence officers earlier than strikes and Washington had an efficient veto on supposed targets, however that U.S. officers weren’t offering direct focusing on info.

“All this undeniably proves that Washington, opposite to White Home and Pentagon claims, is straight concerned within the battle in Ukraine,” the Russian defence ministry mentioned in an announcement on Tuesday.

“It’s the Biden administration that’s straight accountable for all Kyiv-approved rocket assaults on residential areas and civilian infrastructure in populated areas of Donbas and different areas, which have resulted in mass deaths of civilians.”

There was no fast response from the White Home or Pentagon to the ministry’s assertions.

The Pentagon did deny, nonetheless, Moscow’s claims that Russia had destroyed six U.S.-made HIMARS missile programs because the begin of the Ukraine struggle. Russia frequently claims it has hit HIMARS however has but to indicate proof.


Ukraine’s Common Workers on Wednesday catalogued continued heavy Russian shelling of Kharkiv and different cities and villages in its neighborhood, in addition to air and missile strikes on civilian objects. Moscow denies intentionally focusing on civilians.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday mentioned that regardless of arms provides from the West, his nation’s forces couldn’t but overcome Russian benefits in heavy weapons and manpower.

“That is very a lot felt in fight, particularly within the Donbas. … It’s simply hell there. Phrases can not describe it.”

Reuters was not capable of confirm battlefield experiences.

Germany’s Schroeder mentioned the way forward for Donbas was difficult. The normal industrial heartland in Ukraine’s east has seen a number of the struggle’s heaviest preventing.

“An answer based mostly on the Swiss cantonal mannequin should be discovered,” he mentioned, including it must be seen if Putin would return to a pre-war “contact line” in a ceasefire.

Switzerland has 26 semi-autonomous cantons or provinces.

Options to essential issues comparable to Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, may very well be discovered over time, “possibly not over 99 years, like Hong Kong, however within the subsequent technology”, he mentioned.

Russia despatched tens of hundreds of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it calls a “particular army operation”. Kyiv and the West have condemned it as an unprovoked struggle of aggression.

At a U.N. convention on Tuesday, Igor Vishnevetsky, deputy director of the division for non-proliferation and arms management of the Russian overseas ministry, refuted all allegations of “unprovoked aggression”. He additionally added that Moscow was satisfied a nuclear struggle “must not ever be fought”.

Russian diplomat Alexander Trofimov instructed the United Nations that Moscow would solely use nuclear weapons in response to weapons of mass destruction or a traditional weapons assault that threatened the existence of the Russian state.

“None of those two hypothetical situations is related to the state of affairs in Ukraine,” mentioned Trofimov, a senior diplomat within the non-proliferation and arms management division of Russia’s overseas ministry.


In the meantime, a July 22 U.N.-brokered deal to unblock Ukrainian grain exports had an preliminary success as the primary loaded ship since Russia’s invasion safely anchored off the Turkish coast.

The vessel, the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni was on the entrance of the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to world markets, round 1800 GMT on Tuesday, some 36 hours after leaving the Ukrainian port of Odesa.

The ship, which is loaded with 26,527 tonnes of corn, is because of be inspected on Wednesday in Turkey.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric instructed reporters in New York there have been about 27 ships within the three Ukrainian ports coated by the export deal that had been able to go.

The exports from one of many world’s high grain producers are supposed to assist ease a worldwide meals disaster.

Generally known as Europe’s breadbasket, Ukraine hopes to export 20 million tonnes of grain held in silos and 40 million tonnes from the harvest now beneath approach, initially from Odesa and close by Pivdennyi and Chornomorsk.

Russia has referred to as the Razoni’s departure “very optimistic” information. It has denied duty for the meals disaster, saying Western sanctions have slowed its exports.



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