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Mobilization campaign and grain deal: What Putin told reporters

The president touched upon talks with Ukraine, saying that Moscow has always been open to holding negotiations, as well as upon the operation of a grain export corridor

ASTANA, October 14. /TASS/. Russia’s partial mobilization campaign will be over in a couple of weeks as more than 220,000 reservists have already been called up, President Vladimir Putin told reporters on Friday following his visit to Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana.

He also touched upon talks with Ukraine, saying that Moscow has always been open to holding negotiations, as well as upon the operation of a grain export corridor, which might come into question if it is established that explosives used in an attack on the Crimean Bridge had been smuggled from Odessa through that very route. TASS has put together the most important of Putin’s remarks.

On grain deal

The reason why the grain export corridor was established was to ensure the delivery of food exports to the poorest countries. However, Russia will close it if reports are confirmed that explosives used in a terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge were trafficked from Odessa on a grain ship, but that fact has yet to be established. "If <...> it turns out that humanitarian corridors are being used to carry out terrorist attacks, then it will certainly put the operation of the corridor into major question."

On mobilization

The Russian Defense Ministry initially planned to call up less than 300,000 people during a partial mobilization campaign. As many as 222,000 have already been mobilized and 33,000 mobilized soldiers have already joined Russian troops, with 16,000 sent to units involved in combat missions. Mistakes made during the partial mobilization were due to outdated registration methods. "Now the database is updated on a contemporary basis." "There are no plans to take any additional steps. I haven’t received any proposals from the Defense Ministry on the matter and I don’t see any need for it in the foreseeable future." The partial mobilization is nearing its end and it will be over in about two weeks.

The line of contact in Ukraine is 1,100 kilometers long: "Retaining control of it using only the units consisting of contracted troops is almost impossible, particularly because they are actively participating in offensive operations. This is the reason for the mobilization."

On training of mobilized troops

All mobilized troops must receive training. The Russian Security Council will inspect how mobilized reservists are being trained.

The mobilized troops are first sent to formation units where they receive initial training for five to ten days. "After that, depending on their military specialty, they join combat units and train for another five to 15 days. At the next stage, they are sent to participate in combat operations and receive additional training."

As for the people who are leaving Russia, each particular case requires a legal assessment rather than an emotional evaluation.

On Nord Stream pipelines

The German authorities' decision to comply with their obligations within NATO at the expense of national interests was a mistake. "And now, the businesses, the economy and the citizens of the Federal Republic [of Germany] are paying for this mistake because it is having a very negative economic impact on the Eurozone in general and the Federal Republic in particular."

Few seem to take Germany’s interests into account. "Otherwise, they would not have blown up Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2. Although the pipelines weren’t operational, it was a factor that guaranteed that they could be switched on as a measure of last resort but now, it’s no longer possible."

A decision to launch the remaining thread of Nord Stream 2 is unlikely to be made. "But it’s no longer our concern, it is the concern of our partners. It's up to the heads of other countries to decide what they are guided by."

On talks with Ukraine

Russia is always open to talks and the agreements reached in Istanbul were nearly initialed. "As soon as [Russian] troops retreated from Kiev’s suburbs, the Kiev authorities lost their desire to hold talks, that’s all. If they are up for it, they are welcome and perhaps, this is when the mediation efforts of all the interested parties will come in handy."

"They [the Kiev authorities] kept talking about how they wanted to hold talks and even seemed to ask for it but now they have made an official decision to ban these negotiations. What is there to talk about?"

On Russia’s participation in G20 summit

Russia will definitely participate in the upcoming G20 summit but a decision on the mode of participation has not been made yet. "Russia is not yet in direct talks with any of the G20 members. However, we maintain constant contact with some of them."

There is currently no platform for talks with US President Joe Biden. "Someone should ask him if he is ready to sit down for such talks with me or not, but I don't see the need, frankly, by and large."

On strikes on Ukraine

Russia is acting appropriately and in a timely manner in the current situation. "What is happening today is an unpleasant development, to put it mildly. However, the same would have happened to us, only we would have been in a worse situation."

"Our goal is not to destroy all of Ukraine." When Ukraine cut the water supply to Crimea, "troops had to enter the area and reopen the water supply to Crimea." "Had they refrained from taking that action, there would have been no retaliatory actions."

There is currently no need for massive strikes on Ukrainian facilities. "The reason is that, as far as I remember, seven out of the 29 intended targets have not been hit the way the Defense Ministry planned. These facilities are being targeted again now but there is no need for massive strikes, at least for now, but we’ll see."

On possible clash with NATO

A move to deploy NATO troops to Ukraine for a direct clash with the Russian army would be a very dangerous step that could lead to a global catastrophe. "It is a very dangerous step that could lead to a global catastrophe. I hope that those who are talking about it will have enough sense to refrain from such steps".