Belarus ready to authorize the transit of Ukrainian cereals in exchange for access to the Baltic ports

(Reuters) – Minsk is ready to allow Ukrainian grain to transit through Belarus to Baltic Sea ports if those ports allow it access for its own goods, Alexander Lukashenko was quoted as saying by the Belta news agency on Friday. .

Ukraine, one of the world’s leading grain exporters, has not been able to use its Black Sea ports for supplies since the start of the Russian invasion.

Exports from Ukraine via Belarus have been one of the options considered in extensive UN-led discussions to boost global grain supplies as the major food crisis looms. Unblocking Ukrainian Black Sea ports is another option.

During a phone call on Friday with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus was ready to make its railway available. He has proposed to organize discussions between Bilorussia, Ukraine and the countries ready to give access to their ports, indicated Belta.

“If the conditions are created for the transit of Ukrainian cereals, the ports that will handle them should also be able to load goods from Belarus,” the news agency added.

Belarus, one of the world’s leading producers of potash, is under severe sanctions that have disrupted its fertilizer exports through Baltic Sea ports.

Antonio Guterres warned earlier this week that an agreement to unblock shipments of commodities from the region was still far from being concluded because “the fact that everything is linked makes the negotiation particularly complex”.

Moscow and Minsk have accused Western sanctions of disrupting grain and fertilizer exports and of being the source of the risk of a global food crisis.

(Reuters report; French version Augustin Turpin, told by Kate Entringer)

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