Pressured to Negotiate, Putin Warns About Sanctions

Macron, Scholz hold 80-minute call with Russian leader
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2022 5:30 PM CDT
Pressured to Negotiate, Putin Warns About Sanctions
People wait Saturday to receive humanitarian aid in Kramatorsk, Ukraine.   (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

(Newser) – In an 80-minute phone call Saturday, the leaders of Germany and France pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to begin "serious negotiations" with Ukraine to end the fighting. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron "insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops," German officials said, per the BBC. In its readout of the call, the Kremlin showed Putin saying he remained open to holding talks with Ukraine's government, per the AP.

Putin, in turn, warned the European leaders about Western nations continuing to ship weapons to Ukraine. He also said Western sanctions are to blame for supply interruptions in the global food supply. Ukraine is a major exporter of grain, as well as other commodities. Russia has said Ukrainian sea mines are preventing the safe passage of shipments, while Ukraine has blamed a Russian naval blockade. Scholz and Macron asked Putin to lift the blockade of Ukrainian port of Odesa to permit grain exports to get through. Putin said he'll consider it. (Read more Russia-Ukraine conflict stories.)

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