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UN negotiates with Russia over Ukrainian grain

18-5-2022 |

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has been holding talks with representatives of Russia, Turkey and other countries on the possibility of removing grain from Ukraine. This was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, and then the information was confirmed by the US permanent representative to the UN.

According to the WSJ, Guterres has proposed easing restrictions on exports of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships carrying grain from Ukrainian ports.

The UN fears that rising grain prices and food shortages could destabilize poor countries that depend on Ukrainian grain and lead to conflicts.

According to the organization, Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter, while Ukraine ranks fifth. Together they provide 19% of the world's supplies of barley, 14% of wheat and 4% of corn.

After the start of the war, wheat prices jumped to record levels. Bloomberg noted that the fighting blocked more than a quarter of global wheat exports.

In April, the Russian Defense Ministry closed some areas of the Black Sea to foreign ships. The restrictions remain in effect until October 31 and apply to a stretch of water along the coast between Sevastopol and Gurzuf, an area near the shores of the Kerch Peninsula on the traverse of the Opuk nature reserve and a small area near the western tip of Crimea.

Restrictions on Russian fertilizer imports were part of a package of sanctions for Bucha imposed in early April. Imports of potash fertilizers are restricted by the EU and from Belarus.

Source: The Bell