Russian fertilizers and agricultural products must be able to access world markets “without hindrance”, given the risk of a global food crisis from next year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in Istanbul on Saturday.
“It is important that governments and the private sector cooperate to bring them to the market,” he said from the Joint Coordination Center (JCC), which oversees the implementation of the Ukrainian grain export agreement signed in July by Kyiv and Moscow under the auspices of the UN and Turkey. This agreement also ensures that Russia can export its agricultural products and fertilizers despite Western sanctions.
“What we see here in Istanbul and Odessa (Ukrainian grain transport, editor’s note) is only the most visible part of the solution. The other part of this comprehensive agreement is unhindered access to world markets. Food and Russian fertilizers, which are not subject to sanctions,” said Antonio Guterres, who stressed that, despite this, exports of Russian fertilizers and agricultural products continued to encounter “obstacles”.
“Without fertilizer in 2022, there may not be enough food in 2023. Getting more food and fertilizer out of Ukraine and Russia is key to calming markets…and lowering prices for consumers,” he said again. Antonio Guterres traveled to Ukraine this week, where he met on Thursday in Lviv (west) with the presidents of Ukraine and Turkey, Volodymyr Zelensky and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, before traveling to Odessa (south) on Friday.
“Intensify” Ukraine’s grain exports
It approached earlier on Saturday the first humanitarian ship chartered by the UN to transport Ukrainian grain, off the shores south of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara. The Brave Commander, whose final destination is Djibouti, left the Ukrainian port of Pivdenny with 23,000 tons of wheat on Tuesday, before crossing the Bosphorus on Wednesday night.
The UN secretary-general promised on Thursday that his organization will work to “intensify” Ukrainian grain exports before the onset of winter, which is crucial for the food supply of many countries in the world ‘Africa’. According to the agreement signed in July, 650,000 tons of Ukrainian grain and agricultural products have left the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Pivdenny since August 1.
Ships must use a safe corridor to circulate in the Black Sea and then be inspected by the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) before being allowed to cross the Bosphorus Strait. Grain exports from Ukraine, one of the world’s leading producers and exporters, have been blocked for several months due to the Russian invasion, raising fears of a global food crisis.
Source: BFM TV