All news

Russia dissatisfied with UN efforts to ensure grain, fertilizer exports — senior diplomat

According to Sergey Vershinin, Rebeca Grynspan may visit Moscow next week "to continue the consultations that were held in Geneva"

MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. Russia is not satisfied with the results of UN efforts to ensure grain and fertilizer exports, however, it sees progress, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said at a press conference on Wednesday.

"We are holding very intensive discussions with representatives of the UN Secretariat, primarily with the Secretary General of UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development - TASS) [Rebeca] Grynspan, on how to improve access of our fertilizers and grains to the market. We are not satisfied with the results, they are lacking. But there are developments," he said.

"We still brought 300,000 [tons] of fertilizer to European ports before the sanctions. They are stored there now, they just lie there, you can't take them out, nothing. <...> Until now we have been in challenging deliberations with the World Food Program, with the UN on a daily basis. But the solution is on the horizon," Vershinin said, giving an example of what, among other things, has not yet been resolved.

According to the Russian senior diplomat, Grynspan may visit Moscow next week "to continue the consultations that were held in Geneva." "We will push for the implementation of this part of the Istanbul agreements. <...> In any case, a decision is needed," Vershinin added.

A package of documents geared towards resolving the issue of food and fertilizer supplies on global markets was signed on July 22 in Istanbul. Under the Russia-UN memorandum, the United Nations undertakes to work toward lifting anti-Russian restrictions hampering the export of agricultural products and fertilizers. Another document envisages a mechanism for exporting grain from Ukraine-controlled Black Sea ports. An agreement between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations provides for the establishment of a four-party coordination center to search ships carrying grain in order to prevent weapons smuggling and avoid any possible incidents.

The situation in Ukraine and large-scale sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and the EU have caused disruptions in grain supplies, which increase the risk of a food crisis in a number of countries. Since the beginning of the year, global prices for wheat and corn have increased significantly. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov previously stated that the global food crisis had emerged long before the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, its causes being, among other things, the pandemic and the miscalculations of Western countries.