UN Secretary General Guterres did discuss with the Russian authorities the resumption of exports of fertilizers, but not in the context of the issue of the withdrawal of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports, Nebenzia said
UN Secretary General António Guterres, during a visit to Moscow at the end of April, discussed with Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov the lifting of restrictions on the export of Russian potash fertilizers, but without reference to the issue of exporting grain from Ukrainian ports. Vasily Nebenzya, Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, told journalists about this.
According to Nebenzya, publications in the media about this— “free interpretation”. “The issue of trading fertilizers for the export of grains is not so worth it. This question was indeed raised by Guterres, but not in terms of exchanging one for the other, — he emphasized (quote from TASS).
There are “no conditions” between the export of fertilizers and grain, the permanent representative continued: “We are ready to discuss what we can export. And the second thing [grain] requires further discussion.” As the permanent representative said, Russia has established a safe corridor three nautical miles wide and 80 nautical miles long to ensure the exit of ships with grain, “but they do not leave the port of Odessa.” “We are accused of not letting ships through, but we didn’t set the mines,” — he added.
Guterres also discussed the prospects of resuming fertilizer exports to countries that produce agricultural products with President Vladimir Putin, the discussions were “good and positive,” Nebenzia also said. EU countries restricted the import of Russian fertilizers in April.
On May 16, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources, that Guterres offered to ease restrictions on the export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of grain ships from Ukrainian ports; according to the publication, he discussed this issue with Russia and Turkey. The UN World Food Program previously reported that about 25 million tons of grain “stuck” in Ukraine due to infrastructure problems and “blocked Black Sea ports”, including the port in Mariupol, which is under the control of the Russian military.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the issues of the supply of Russian potash fertilizers and the export of Ukrainian grain are being discussed, but “not at the UN level.” On the search for an opportunity to take out the “stuck” Grain was announced by Canada and the USA.
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According to the World Trade Organization, Russia and Ukraine account for 24% of world wheat supplies.
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