China lifted restrictions on Russian wheat weeks before eruption of conflict: Report

Beijing: Just before the unprecedented rise in tensions between Russia and Ukraine, China signed a deal with Russia lifting import restrictions on Wheat and Barley, media reports said.

The lifting of restrictions, part of a broader group of new deals between Russia and China, was signed between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during Putin’s visit to China at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing earlier this month, reported Fox Business.

The details of the deal emerged when the Chinese General Administration of Customs issued a notice on February 23 announcing the lifting of restrictions.

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“You don’t go and give a lifeline to Russia in the middle of a period when they are invading another country,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was quoted as saying on Friday. “That is simply unacceptable,” he further said.

Russia is the largest exporter of wheat in the world, and previously faced restrictions on exports to China over plant disease concerns, the report said. Adding further that, China’s move would hurt other major exporters of wheat to China, including Australia, European Union (EU), Canada.

Putin on Thursday announced that special military operations are being launched “to protect” the people in the Donbas region of Ukraine. He also warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences”.

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