After a grain agreement is extended, Putin travels to Crimea on the anniversary of annexation
A day after receiving an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for his role in the crisis in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea on Saturday to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the peninsula's takeover.
As a result of Russia's onslaught, Turkey announced the renewal of a pact that permitted Ukraine to export grain; however, Kyiv and Moscow disputed on whether the arrangement was extended for 60 or 120 days.
Except from when he drove over the bridge connecting the region to mainland Russia in December, Putin's surprise visit to Crimea was his first to the peninsula since he dispatched troops to Ukraine on February 24 of last year.
Images shown by Russian state TV showed him touring the Black Sea port city of Sevastopol with Mikhail Razvozhayev, who had been designated local governor by Moscow.
On the messaging service Telegram, Razvozhayev said that Putin had been scheduled to participate via video connection at the opening of a children's art school.
"But, Vladimir Vladimirovich really showed up. Himself. in the driver's seat. Since the president is constantly with Sevastopol and its residents on such a momentous day, "added Putin.
After a referendum that neither Kiev nor the rest of the world recognized, Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine wanted to reclaim Crimea as "our territory" when speaking at the Davos conference in January. of of a new in the middle of your last. My my of of of..
A day after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin in connection with the "deportation" of Ukrainian children, Putin paid a visit to the United States.
According to Kyiv, more than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been transferred to Russia since the crisis began last year, with many of them reportedly being put in institutions and foster homes.
Putin is now subject to arrest if he steps foot in any of the court's more than 120 member nations, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told AFP on Friday.
The 70-year-old head of Russia has not yet made any remarks on the warrant in the media.
The ICC warrant is "void."
But, the ICC's action sparked a flood of criticism from Russia, which declared the orders to be "invalid".
It was unclear if or how Putin might ever find himself in court since Russia is not a participant to the ICC.
The shocking verdict from the Hague-based court also came before Chinese leader Xi Jinping's trip to Moscow to sign agreements ushering in a new era of relations.
In Russia from Monday through Wednesday will be Xi.
Major Russian supporter China has attempted to present itself as an impartial actor, pleading with Moscow and Kiev to negotiate a settlement to the situation.
China advocated for discussion and respect for the territorial sovereignty of all nations in a 12-point position statement on the dispute published last month.
Yet Western politicians have criticized China for failing to denounce Russia's incursion on several occasions, alleging that Beijing was giving Moscow diplomatic cover for its assault.
China's Qin Gang encouraged Kyiv and Moscow to resume peace negotiations "as soon as feasible" during a phone discussion between the foreign ministers of Ukraine and China on Thursday.
Without going into specifics, his colleague from Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, said that they had spoken about "the importance of the concept of territorial integrity" during the conversation.
Despite not having total authority over them, the Kremlin proclaimed the annexation of four Ukrainian areas last autumn: Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia.
Grain agreement extended
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Ankara that the two parties have decided to prolong the agreement that has enabled Kyiv, a significant grain producer, to restart shipments.
The words, however, were disputed.
The arrangement had been extended for 120 days, according to Ukraine's minister of infrastructure, while a spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry said Moscow had only consented to a 60-day extension.
With the deployment of Russian soldiers in February 2022, warships blocked Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
Exports were permitted to go without incident according to a pact that was mediated by Turkey and the UN in July 2022 and ratified by Kiev and Moscow. In November, it was prolonged for 120 days.