July 1, 2022
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Talk to Ukraine about ports, not us, says Russia ahead of UN talks in Moscow

Talk to Ukraine about ports, not us, says Russia ahead of UN talks in Moscow

UNITED NATIONS — A senior United Nations (UN) official is due to go to Moscow in the approaching days to focus on reviving fertilizer exports, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia mentioned on Wednesday, stressing that the talks have been not linked to a resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments. 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Ukrainian grain shipments from its Black Sea ports have stalled and greater than 20 million tonnes of grain are caught in silos, whereas Moscow says the chilling impact of Western sanctions imposed on Russia over the warfare have disrupted its fertilizer and grain exports. 

The battle is fueling a worldwide meals disaster with costs for grains, cooking oils, gas, and fertilizer hovering. Russia and Ukraine account for almost a 3rd of world wheat provides, whereas Russia can be a key world fertilizer exporter and Ukraine is a significant exporter of corn and sunflower oil. 

Mr. Nebenzia mentioned that “formally fertilizers and grain are not under sanctions, but there are logistical, transport, insurance, bank transfer problems” created by Western sanctions that “prevent us from exporting freely.” 

“We are prepared to export fertilizers and grain from our ports to the world market,” he mentioned, including that when it got here to Ukrainian grain exports — “I think that should be negotiated with the Ukrainians, not with Russians.” 

Nevertheless, Western officers say any deal on entry to Ukrainian ports would wish Russian settlement, citing what they are saying is a Russian blockade and a necessity for safety ensures. 

UN Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres, who visited Moscow and Kyiv final month, is in “intense contact” with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the US and the European Union in a bid to dealer what he calls a “package deal” to resume each Ukrainian meals exports and Russian meals and fertilizer exports. 

“Turkey is ready to contribute to a kind of monitoring of these exports from Odesa through the Black Sea because Turkey traditionally is very strong in the Black Sea and they are ready to help,” mentioned a senior European diplomat, talking on situation of anonymity. 

Mr. Nebenzia mentioned that high UN commerce and improvement official Rebecca Grynspan was due to focus on Russian exports throughout a go to to Moscow in the approaching days. She is coordinator of the UN World Disaster Response Group on Meals, Power and Finance that goals to fight world financial shocks from the Ukraine warfare. 

Mr. Nebenzia additionally mentioned he believed UN assist chief Martin Griffiths was due to go to Moscow someday in early June, however that he did not know “to what extent” Mr. Griffiths was concerned in the discussions on grain and fertilizer exports. 

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric declined to remark. 

The US and others accuse Russia of blockading Ukraine’s ports. Mr. Nebenzia has mentioned there may be an 80 nautical mile (148 km) lengthy and three nautical mile (5.5 km) large “safe corridor” permitting entry to the main Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa, however that Ukraine wants to take away mines from the waters. 

“They mined the ports, not us,” Mr. Nebenzia mentioned on Wednesday. “There is a corridor which exists, which they don’t use.” 

Ukrainian Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba poured scorn on the suggestion that Moscow needed to enable Ukraine to ship grain, telling the World Financial Discussion board in Davos: “You could not find a better example of a blackmail in international relations.” 

Odesa is Ukraine’s principal deep-water port and used to deal with nearly all its grain exports. It has suffered a quantity of Russian missile assaults, and Kyiv fears that Moscow desires to seize it, probably by way of an amphibious assault. 

Russia’s protection ministry mentioned the port of Mariupol, the Ukrainian metropolis on the shallow-water Azov Sea which was taken by Russia after a protracted siege, was working usually after Russian forces completed eradicating mines. — Reuters

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