MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. Latvia continues to block the dispatch of Russian mineral fertilizers to the least developed countries, official spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.
"The first batch of cargo is scheduled to be sent this week - this is 20,000 metric tons from the Netherlands to Malawi. Most of the fertilizer, primarily in Latvia, has not even been inspected yet due to Riga’s refusal to accept inspectors of the UN World Food Programme. The world must be aware of both its heroes and antiheroes. We urge all the parties involved, especially the EU, to make the necessary efforts to ensure the transfer of Russian fertilizers to the least developed countries, which need them as much as food," Zakharova said.
Russia continues its efforts to implement its initiative on the free transfer of mineral fertilizers to the poorest countries together with experts from the team of the UNCTAD Secretary General and the staff of the UN World Food Programme, the spokeswoman said. "We would like to reiterate and underscore that this is a purely humanitarian mission to provide aid to those in need, which has been blocked for almost three months by European countries: Latvia, Estonia, Belgium, and the Netherlands. They are holding Russian products in their ports," she added.
If the West cares as much about the least developed and needy countries as they say they do, then it "must use all its influence in respect of Riga and not only Riga to resolve the situation," the Russian diplomat said.