UN officials to visit Russia, aim to extend Black Sea grain export deal by a year
Foreign media, October 9 news: United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and his team are working to expand and extend the scope of the United Nations-brokered agreement on the export of grains from the Black Sea for a year, which is due to expire at the end of November.
United Nations spokesman Stefan Dujarric said on Friday that the United Nations was working to remove uncertainty (the grain export deal) to extend the agreement for another year. But it has not yet reached that stage. The United Nations is also working to boost Russian grain and fertilizer exports. Martin Griffiths, the UN's head of aid programs, and Rebecca Grispan, the UN's top trade official, will visit Moscow in about a week to discuss the issue with senior Russian officials, Dujarric said. The Joint Secretary-General and his team are engaged in intensive engagement on these issues, seeking to expand the scope and validity of the agreement. Active efforts are being made to remove the last hurdle to facilitate the export of Russian grains and fertilizers.
On July 22, Russia and Ukraine, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, reached a package agreement, the core of which includes facilitating the transportation of food and fertilizers to Russia. The agreement also allows Ukraine to resume exports of grain and fertilizers through Black Sea ports.
Russian government officials have criticized the agreement, complaining that its grain and fertilizer exports remain hampered, and accusing Ukraine of exporting grain mainly to rich countries in the EU, betraying the original intent of the deal to provide food to poorer countries. There may be objections to extending the agreement, which expires in November.
EU maize imports from Ukraine have almost doubled this year so far this year, despite a sharp drop in overall Ukrainian maize exports, trade data from the European Commission showed.
The agreement reached at the end of July included facilitating the export of ammonia from Russia. Ukraine closed a pipeline transporting ammonia from Russia's Volga region to the Ukrainian port of Yuzhny following the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict on February 24. The United Nations is now trying to facilitate the recovery of these ammonia export pipelines.