What Putin told reporters about Africa, Ukraine situation, risk of clash with US

The Ukrainian armed forces have been stopped and pushed back in all directions, they have withdrawn their assault units due to heavy losses,...


The Ukrainian armed forces have been stopped and pushed back in all directions, they have withdrawn their assault units due to heavy losses, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters.

On Saturday evening, the head of state answered questions from half a dozen journalists, many of whom asked more than one question. The conversation lasted an hour in total. In particular, Putin talked about Russia's relations with Africa, the country’s reluctance to directly confront the US in Syria and strengthening the defense of the Crimean Bridge.

TASS has summarized the president's main statements.

On relations with Africa

The African continent as a whole is "very friendly and positive" toward Russia. "Everyone remembers what happened during the struggle for independence."

In relations with Russia, African states are trying to find "mutually acceptable and mutually interesting projects." "They are not asking for any kind of charity. <...> It is true, there has not been a single direct request - 'give us this, give us that'."

On African peace initiative

Some provisions of the African peace initiative on the Ukrainian settlement are already being implemented, but "there are things that are difficult or impossible to implement." "For example, one of the points is a ceasefire. But the Ukrainian army is on the offensive, it is on the attack, on what is called a large-scale strategic offensive. <...> We cannot declare a ceasefire when we are attacked."

This initiative "could be the basis of some processes aimed at finding peace, like others, such as the Chinese peace plan".

On free grain

Russia's willingness to supply free grain to some African countries has nothing to do with the African mission set up in Ukraine.

The deliveries themselves will begin "within three to four months." Thus, Moscow will share with African countries a part of the income from the increase in world food prices after the grain deal is finalized.

On Russia's withdrawal from grain deal

Russia has suspended the grain deal because the part of the agreement concerning the country was never fulfilled. "It's time to move forward, time to do something".

At the same time, attempts to prevent Russian food and fertilizer exports have been unsuccessful: ""We continue to be the market leader in wheat sales, <...> despite all efforts to prevent us, and in fertilizers".

On special military op progress

The Ukrainian military did not succeed in any of the areas where it tried to advance: "Everywhere the enemy was stopped, pushed back." The Ukrainian armed forces "withdrew their assault units to places where they are restoring combat capability" due to heavy losses.

They have also changed tactics to reduce equipment losses: "Personnel are brought up, thrown out, equipment disappears immediately, they attack on foot." This leads to heavy losses in personnel.

Since the beginning of the so-called counteroffensive, Kiev has lost 415 tanks and "more than 1,300 armored vehicles of various classes".

In the area of responsibility of the battlegroup Center, the Russian military "not only repels the enemy's attacks, but also goes on a counteroffensive: "They advanced in two areas. In one area - 15 kilometers along the front and about four kilometers in depth."

On commanding troops

"I do not consider it my business to manage the troops, it is wrong and even harmful. <...> But, of course, <...> I am aware of what is going on there. Several times a day, I contact the leadership of the Defense Ministry, if necessary, talk to specific units."

About transfer of Azov fighters to Kiev

There were agreements between Moscow and Ankara on the presence of fighters of the Azov nationalist battalion (outlawed in Russia and recognized as a terrorist organization) in Turkey: "There were agreements, there will be no further comments."

Ankara's transfer of Azov fighters to Kiev did not affect Moscow's decision to withdraw from the grain deal: "One thing has nothing to do with the other."

On president's plans

Putin plans to meet with Erdogan. The heads of state agreed on it before the May elections in Turkey: "Either he will come to us or I will visit him, we'll see."

On the decision not to go to the BRICS summit in South Africa: "I don't think that my stay at the BRICS summit is more important than my stay in Russia now."

As for a possible trip to the G20 summit in India, there is no decision yet: "I don't know yet, I haven't thought about it, I haven't decided, we'll see."

On Crimean Bridge defense

After the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge, the Russian military carried out "a series of preventive strikes" on the places where these drones were sent from and where they were manufactured.

There are already proposals to improve the security of this structure: "This is technical physical protection, the use of other technical means. <...> It is not very expensive, but it I hope it will be reliable."

On risks of clash with US in Syria

"We are always ready for any scenario, but no one wants this, and on the initiative of the American side we once created a special mechanism to prevent these conflicts."

On temporary management of foreign assets

The Russian authorities are not planning any new decisions on the temporary management of foreign companies' assets: "No, so far nothing of this kind is being prepared, and what there was was due to the fact that the management of these companies tried to put pressure on Russian citizens - their employees - intimidating them with possible dismissals in case they showed a certain civic position. I hope that this will not be repeated in the future."

At the same time, such decisions do not constitute property confiscation: "We are not taking anything from anyone.


-News Feed

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Local Glob: What Putin told reporters about Africa, Ukraine situation, risk of clash with US
What Putin told reporters about Africa, Ukraine situation, risk of clash with US
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