Putin’s Iran visit ‘sign of desperation’ as Moscow strikes $40bn deal to fuel Ukraine war

Putin: Michael Danby on ‘sign of desperation’

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Former Australian Labor MP Michael has branded Vladimir Putin seeking support from Iran as a show of “desperation.” Putin met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Tuesday, deepening ties between the two countries who are both under Western sanctions.

Mr Danby told Sky News Australia: Well, it’s a sign of Putin’s desperation that he has to go to an already unpopular country like Iran to get support.

“It’s the Iran China, Russia alliance that is a real worry.

“And the fact that they’re supporting each other through this war by buying Russia’s oil.

“It keeps the oil market up and oil price high and finances Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

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He added: “Every Ukrainian that’s been killed, has been killed with European Chinese and international payments.”

During the visit to Iran, Putin also met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to discuss a deal that would resume Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports, now blockaded by Russia.

Russia was ready to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports by the Black Sea, but also wanted the remaining curbs on Russian grain exports to be removed, said Putin, who was shown by Rossiya state TV answering questions from media at the end of his visit to Iran.

On Tuesday the Russian leader had said not all the issues had been resolved yet on grain shipments, “but the fact that there is movement is already good.”

Putin meets Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

It was Putin’s first in-person meeting with a NATO leader since Russian troops invaded and was a pointed message to the West about Russian plans to forge closer strategic ties with Iran, China and India to help offset Western sanctions imposed over the invasion.

The Kremlin has said there is no time limit to a conflict it calls a “special military operation” to ensure its own security.

Ukraine and the West condemn it as an unprovoked war of aggression against its neighbour.

Russia was trying to “drag” Ukraine into a protracted conflict into the winter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak said in a magazine interview published on Tuesday.

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“It is very important for us not to enter the winter. After winter, when the Russians will have more time to dig in, it will certainly be more difficult” for any Ukrainian counter-offensive, Yermak said.

More than two weeks have passed since Russia’s last major territorial gain – capturing the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk.

But in a now familiar pattern, Ukraine’s general staff reported widespread shelling and attacks in various areas of the country.

“In the Bakhmut direction, the occupiers are conducting combat operations with the aim of creating conditions for an offensive on the city of Bakhmut and taking over the territory of the Vuglegirsk power plant,” the general staff said.

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