UN: “Constructive” discussions in Moscow on Russian grain and fertilizer exports

by Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A United Nations official held “constructive discussions” in Moscow with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Beloussov about access for Russian grain and fertilizer to world markets, Stéphane Dujarric said on Tuesday. , spokesperson for the United Nations.

Rebeca Grynspan, secretary general of Cnuced, the United Nations conference on trade and development, is now in Washington for further talks, added Stéphane Dujarric. Rebeca Grynspan was also recently appointed coordinator of the United Nations Global Food, Fuel and Financial Crisis Response Group, which aims to help countries weather the economic shocks caused by the war in Ukraine.

“The objective of these discussions is to facilitate access of Russian cereals and fertilizers to world markets, with the essential objective of tackling the growing food insecurity at the global level”, said Stéphane Dujarric.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who visited Moscow and Kyiv last month, is trying to push through an agreement that would revive both Ukrainian grain exports and those of Russian fertilizers.

Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, launched in February, threatens to trigger a global food crisis by causing the prices of grain, fertilizers, cooking oils and energy to soar.

Russia and Ukraine together account for almost a third of world wheat production. The former is also a major fertilizer exporter while the latter also supplies the world with corn and sunflower oil.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Ukrainian grain exports through its Black Sea ports have been at a standstill and more than 20 million tonnes are stored in its silos while Western sanctions against Russia have disrupted its grain exports and fertilizer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia stands ready to facilitate Ukrainian exports in coordination with Turkey, according to a Kremlin account of a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The Secretary General is extremely grateful for Turkey’s support in resolving the situation in the Black Sea and supporting the Secretary General’s own efforts,” said Stéphane Dujarric.

Emmanuel Macron for his part declared on Tuesday that he had proposed last Saturday during a telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz the development of a resolution at the UN “to give a very clear framework” to operations intended allow free movement of bulk carriers berthed in Ukrainian ports.

(Report Michelle Nichols, French version Bertrand Boucey, edited by Nicolas Delame)

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