Putin visits Crimea on annexation anniversary, as grain deal prolonged | World News

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday visited Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the peninsula’s annexation, a day after the Worldwide Prison Courtroom issued an arrest warrant in opposition to him over the Ukraine battle.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shaking hands with Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev (L) as he visits a children's arts-and-crafts centre, part of Chersonesos Taurica historical and archeological park on the 9th anniversary of the referendum on the state status of Crimea and Sevastopol and its reunification with Russia. (AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shaking arms with Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev (L) as he visits a youngsters’s arts-and-crafts centre, a part of Chersonesos Taurica historic and archeological park on the ninth anniversary of the referendum on the state standing of Crimea and Sevastopol and its reunification with Russia. (AFP)

Turkey in the meantime introduced the extension of a deal that has allowed Ukraine to export grain following Russia’s offensive, however Kyiv and Moscow disagreed if the settlement was extended for 60 or 120 days.

Putin’s shock go to to Crimea was his first to the peninsula since he despatched troops to Ukraine on February 24 final 12 months, other than when he drove throughout the bridge linking the territory to mainland Russia final December.

He was proven visiting the Black Sea port metropolis of Sevastopol, accompanied by the native Moscow-appointed governor Mikhail Razvozhayev, based on pictures broadcast by Russian state TV.

Razvozhayev mentioned on the messaging app Telegram that Putin had been anticipated to participate within the opening of a youngsters’s artwork faculty by video hyperlink.

“However Vladimir Vladimirovich got here in particular person. Himself. Behind the wheel. As a result of on such a historic day, the president is all the time with Sevastopol and the individuals of Sevastopol,” he mentioned.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 following a referendum that was not recognised by Kyiv and the worldwide neighborhood.

Talking on the Davos discussion board in January, President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned Ukraine aimed to take again Crimea, “our land”. Moscow has refused to incorporate it in doable peace talks.

Putin’s go to got here a day after the Worldwide Prison Courtroom issued an arrest warrant in opposition to him over the “deportation” of Ukrainian youngsters.

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Greater than 16,000 Ukrainian youngsters have been deported to Russia because the begin of the battle final 12 months, based on Kyiv, with many allegedly positioned in establishments and foster properties.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan advised AFP Friday that Putin was now responsible for arrest if he set foot in any of the court docket’s greater than 120 member states.

The 70-year-old Russian chief has but to publicly touch upon the warrant.

– ‘Void’ ICC warrant –

However the ICC transfer triggered a wave of condemnation from Moscow, which dismissed the orders as “void”.

Russia will not be a celebration to the ICC so it was unclear if or how Putin might ever find yourself within the dock.

The Hague-based court docket’s shock resolution additionally got here forward of the Moscow go to from Chinese language chief Xi Jinping to signal accords ushering in a brand new period of ties.

Xi will probably be in Russia from Monday to Wednesday.

China, a serious Russian ally, has sought to place itself as a impartial celebration, urging Moscow and Kyiv to resolve the battle by way of negotiations.

In a 12-point place paper on the battle final month, China referred to as for dialogue and respect for all nations’ territorial sovereignty.

However Western leaders have repeatedly criticised Beijing for failing to sentence Russia’s offensive, accusing it of offering Moscow with diplomatic cowl for its assault.

Ukraine’s and China’s overseas ministers held a phone name Thursday, wherein China’s Qin Gang urged Kyiv and Moscow to restart peace talks “as quickly as doable”.

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His Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba mentioned the decision included dialogue of “the importance of the precept of territorial integrity”, with out giving particulars.

Final autumn, the Kremlin introduced the annexation of 4 Ukrainian territories, Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, regardless of not controlling them utterly.

– Grain deal prolonged –

In Ankara, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned the 2 sides have agreed to increase the deal that has allowed Kyiv, a serious grain exporter, to renew exports.

However there was disagreement over the phrases.

Ukraine’s infrastructure minister mentioned the deal had been prolonged for 120 days, however a spokeswoman for Russia’s overseas ministry mentioned Moscow had agreed to a 60-day extension.

Ukraine’s Black Sea ports have been blocked by warships after Russia despatched in troops in February 2022.

A deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July 2022 — and signed by Kyiv and Moscow — had allowed for the protected passage of exports. It was prolonged for 120 days in November.

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