UN Secretary-General fears Russia will pull out of Black Sea Grains Agreement Ship’s crew

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By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS, June 12 (Reuters) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he was concerned that Russia would on July 17 withdraw from an agreement allowing for the safe export of grain and fertilizers from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports during the war allows.

Moscow has threatened to withdraw from the so-called Black Sea Grains Initiative negotiated by the United Nations and Turkey last July if obstacles to its own grain and fertilizer supplies are not removed.

“I am concerned and we are working hard to ensure that the Black Sea Initiative can be sustained while we continue our work to facilitate Russian exports,” Guterres told reporters.

To persuade Russia to agree to the Black Sea Grains Agreement, a three-year term memorandum At the same time, an accord was reached in which UN officials agreed to help Russia with its own food and fertilizer exports.

While Russian food and fertilizer exports are not subject to Western sanctions imposed after the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, restrictions on payments, logistics and insurance have posed a barrier to supplies, according to Moscow.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said on Saturday that Russia “could not be satisfied with the implementation of this memorandum,” the TASS news agency reported. He was speaking after a meeting with top UN trade representative Rebeca Grynspan in Geneva on Friday.

among the requirements Key actions by Russia include resuming its ammonia exports via a pipeline to Ukraine’s Pivdennyi port and reconnecting the Agricultural Bank of Russia (Rosselkhozbank) to the SWIFT international payment system.

The United Nations has helped boost Russia’s food and fertilizer exports by allowing a steady flow of ships to its ports and lowering freight and insurance rates, a UN spokesman said called on Friday.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Rami Ayyub and Mark Heinrih)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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