The two leaders focused on developments around Ukraine in the context of Russia’s special military operation. In particular, Vladimir Putin directed the attention of the Federal Chancellor to Ukraine’s flagrant violations of international humanitarian law, the continuous shelling of cities in Donbass, which is killing civilians and inflicting deliberate damage on civilian infrastructure.
The security of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) was also discussed. The President of Russia described in detail the IAEA-coordinated measures to ensure the physical protection of the ZNPP that Ukraine is subjecting to continuous missile attacks, despite the serious risk of causing a major disaster.
During an exchange of views on the implementation of the grain deal concluded in Istanbul on July 22, Vladimir Putin emphasised its package character and explained his concerns over the geographic imbalance in Ukrainian maritime shipments of grain, only a negligible share of which goes to the neediest countries. Moreover, there has been no progress in removing obstacles to Russian food and fertiliser exports. The President confirmed that Russia is ready to deliver large quantities of grain to external markets and to provide needy countries with the fertiliser blocked in European ports at no charge.
In response to a question from the Federal Chancellor, Vladimir Putin noted that, unlike Kiev, Russia grants the International Committee of the Red Cross access to POWs.
Describing the current energy situation in Europe, Vladimir Putin emphasised that Russia has always been and remains a reliable supplier of energy resources and fulfils all of its contractual obligations, while any interruptions, for example in the operation of Nord Stream 1, are the result of anti-Russia sanctions that interfere with the pipeline’s technical maintenance. Considering that gas supply via Ukraine and Poland was stopped by their governments, as well as the refusal to put Nord Stream 2 into operation, the attempts to shift the blame for Europe’s energy problems onto Russia look very cynical.
The leaders agreed to maintain further contact.