General

Russia’s Putin to communicate with heads of Ukraine’s breakaway regions

Russian President Vladimir Putin will communicate with the heads of Ukraine’s breakaway regions, the Kremlin spokesman said Wednesday.

 

However, as of Wednesday, Putin does not plan to address the nation on results of the referendums, said Dmitry Peskov at a press briefing in Moscow.

 

Russian state media announced that 98% of voters chose to join Russia following referendums in the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

 

The votes have been widely condemned by the international community, with European nations and the US terming them a “sham” and saying they will not be recognized.

 

Speaking about the fate of Russia’s special military operation in Donbas, Peskov said part of the Donetsk region is still under Ukraine’s control.

 

“Therefore, at a minimum, it is necessary to liberate the entire territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic (before calling off the operation),” he said.

 

Denouncing the statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the possibility of using US weapons against territories where votes on joining the Russia were held, he said: “More and more, the American side is getting into this conflict, becoming a part to it, which is extremely dangerous.”

 

Russia, Türkiye have to counter US bank sanctions

 

“The decision of Turkish banks to stop using the Mir system was made under unprecedented pressure from the US,” he said, referring to the Russian payment system.

 

“The situation is complicated, and, of course, we need to jointly look for ways to counteract this pressure in such a way that at least does not harm our trade and economic cooperation, and does not deprive many millions of Russian tourists who visit Türkiye every year of comfortable conditions,” he said.

 

Turning to the grain deal, the Kremlin spokesman said Russia is interested in its implementation, but the grain has to go to the poorest countries.

 

“Further joint efforts are needed by both the UN and the guarantors of this deal, aimed at ensuring that the recipients (of grain) are mainly the poorest countries,” he said.

 

He underlined that lifting sanctions from Russian fertilizers is part of the deal as well.

 

Accident at Nord Stream 2 ‘big problem for Russia’

 

Peskov called the accident at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline “a big problem for Russia” and a loss of a valuable asset.

 

“This is a big problem for us. Both lines of the Nord Stream 2 are filled with gas, the whole system is ready for pumping gas, and this gas is very expensive,” Peskov said.

 

“This gas costs a lot of money, now this gas is evaporating into the air,” he added.

 

Peskov rejected allegations about Russia’s involvement in the accident as “predictable, absurd and stupid”, pointing out that US President Joe Biden spoke about the necessity “to get rid of Nord Stream 2 pipeline” at the beginning of the year.

 

“Do you remember the statements of the US president, which were made back in early February? Who promised then to get rid of the Nord Stream 2? What the US president meant, we do not know,” he said.

 

Russia will insist that Gazprom, as the owner of the pipeline, participates in the investigation of the emergency, he said.

 

Peskov said that Russia suffers losses from the accidents on the pipelines, while the American energy companies benefit from it.

 

“We see huge profits of American suppliers of liquefied natural gas, which have multiplied their supplies to the European continent, they are very, very interested in further obtaining these super-super profits.

 

“Are we interested in this? No, we are not interested, we have lost gas supply routes to Europe,” he said.

 

The Kremlin spokesman said the situation raises a lot of questions and demands a dialogue of the parties.

 

“At the moment, we see an absolute deficit of such a dialogue,” he said.

 

Source: Anadolu Agency