News Live From Ukraine: Russia Seeks Global Food Crisis, Says Zelenskyy | Russo-Ukrainian War

  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian Vladimir Putin, offering to facilitate the reopening of Ukrainian ports.
  • The Kremlin said Putin told Erdogan that Russia was ready to facilitate the unhindered export of grain from Ukrainian ports in coordination with Turkey.
  • France announces the opening of a war crimes investigation into the murder of journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, French media reported.
  • European Union countries meeting in Brussels to discuss new sanctions against Moscow fail to agree on a ban on Russian oil imports.
[Al Jazeera]

Here are all the latest updates:

Russia ‘clearly’ seeks global food crisis, says Zelenskyy

Zelenskyy said the Russian blockade of Ukrainian seaports prevents Kyiv from exporting 22 million tons of grain.

In his late night address, Zelenskyy said the result is the threat of famine in grain-dependent countries and could create a new migration crisis. “It’s something the Russian leadership is clearly looking for,” he said.

Zelenskyy accused Moscow of “deliberately creating this problem so that all of Europe struggles and Ukraine does not earn billions of dollars from its exports.”

Moscow blamed Western sanctions for the crisis – a claim Zelenskyy called “cynical”.

WNBA star calls for bringing Brittney Griner ‘home’

Basketball star Breanna Stewart has called to bring home fellow NBA female Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia since February.

“We are watching and counting on you,” Stewart said in a tweet addressed to the White House.

France opens war crimes investigation into murder of journalist

France has announced the opening of a war crimes investigation into the murder of journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff and the injury of his colleague Maxime Brandstaetter during Russian shelling in eastern Ukraine, French media reported. .

The French journalist worked for TV news channel BFM, which said he was 32 and reporting in Ukraine for the second time since the war began on February 24.

France’s national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said it was also investigating five other incidents involving French citizens, AFP reported.

Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff
Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, 32, was killed in a bombing in eastern Ukraine [BFM TV via Reuters]

Zelenskyy warns of Russian ‘blackmail’ over food supplies

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged France not to succumb to Russian “blackmail” over food supplies during a meeting with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, his office said.

In its summary of the talks, the Ukrainian presidency accused Russia of using food security issues to try to ease international sanctions. Kyiv said Moscow was looting grain and agricultural equipment from areas held by its troops in Ukraine and obstructing Ukrainian grain exports.

Zelenskyy’s office said he and Colonna discussed sanctions, arms supplies and Ukrainian aspirations to join the European Union.

The war in Ukraine has contributed to a global rise in food prices, raising fears of worsening hunger crises in many parts of the world.

German politicians agree to $107 billion deal to bolster military

The German government and the conservative opposition have agreed a deal that will release 100 billion euros ($107 billion) to modernize the country’s military in response to Russia.

An agreement has been reached to create a special fund for military purchases which will also allow Berlin to meet the NATO objective of devoting 2% of its GDP to defence.

The deal, which involves changing the budget rules of the national constitution, was reached after weeks of difficult negotiations between ruling coalition parties and former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservatives, representatives of those parties said. groups to the AFP news agency.

Erdogan talks separately with Putin and Zelensky

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian Vladimir Putin, offering to facilitate the reopening of Ukrainian ports.

“When discussing the situation in Ukraine, the focus was on ensuring safe navigation in the Black and Azov seas and eliminating the threat of mines in their waters,” the Kremlin told About Putin’s call with Erdogan.

For its part, Ankara said that Erdogan had told Putin that peace should be established as soon as possible and that Turkey was ready to play a role in an “observation mechanism” between Moscow, Kyiv and the United Nations. , if an agreement is reached.

Erdogan later said that he “especially appreciated the project of creating a secure sea route for the export of Ukrainian agricultural products”, according to his office, adding that the Turkish leader welcomed, in principle, the idea of ​​making of Istanbul a seat of the “monitoring mechanism”. .

No EU deal on Russian oil embargo

European Union countries meeting in Brussels to discuss new sanctions on Moscow failed to agree on a ban on Russian oil imports, despite last-minute haggling ahead of the two-day summit.

The EU has rolled out five sanctions packages against Russia since its troops invaded Ukraine, but a deal on an oil embargo has proven elusive as many countries depend on Russian crude.

“There is no compromise at the moment,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose country has been the main opponent of a deal.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Read all of the Monday, May 30 updates here.

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