KIEV, April 25 (Reuters) – A proposal by UN chief Antonio Guterres to improve and extend an agreement on the safe export of Ukrainian grain from the Black Sea can only succeed if the international community puts collective pressure on Russia, he said a senior Ukrainian official on Tuesday.
Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, put forward proposals for a “way forward aimed at improving, extending and expanding” the agreement.
“Guterres’ absolutely legitimate initiative can only succeed if the international community puts collective pressure on Russia,” Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters in a written comment.
“Ukraine, on the other hand, will continue to abide by the agreements with Turkey and the United Nations and continue to deliver grain shipments to their destinations, thus solving the problem of global food supply,” he added.
The Kremlin said on Tuesday that a global food shortage was not primarily due to a lack of Russian and Ukrainian grains on the market.
She also reiterated her position that provisions related to Russian grain exports had not been properly implemented.
Moscow has signaled it will not allow the Grains Initiative, which signed last July and lifted a blockade of three Ukrainian hinterland ports after the Russian invasion, to continue beyond May 18 because it says a list of Demands for its exports were not met.
Podolyak also denied a claim by Russia’s Defense Ministry that Kiev was attempting to attack its ships in the Black Sea, actions that threatened prospects for an extension of the grain export deal.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Timothy Heritage Editor)
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