The Secretary-General of the United Nations has expressed deep concerns about the collapse of the Russia-Ukraine grain deal. Antonio Guterres claimed that, Moscow’s choice to end the black sea grain transportation deal, will lead millions of people into hunger, and the sporadic increase in cost of food.
“Today’s decision by the Russian Federation will strike a blow to people in need everywhere.”UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres.
After a full blown war broke out between the two neighboring nations, the export of grains and fertilizers from Ukraine and Russia respectively stalled, plummeting the cost of grains and fertilizers worldwide.
However, through the intervention of the United Nations and Turkey, an agreement was reached between Moscow and Kyiv, for the exportation of grains and fertilizers via the Black Sea. The decision by Moscow to terminate the deal, also means Russia has withdrawn its security assurances for ships that uses the northwestern section of the Black Sea.
“Ultimately, participation in these agreements is a choice. But struggling people everywhere and developing countries don’t have a choice.”UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
According to Mr. Guterres, there are still barriers to the export of Russian agricultural and horticultural goods, and he reached out to President Vladimir Putin with a fresh idea to maintain the Black Sea Initiative.
According to the General Secretary’s letter to the Russian Premier, the agreement and measures agreed upon by the Governments revealed that, Russia’s grain trade achieved high export volumes, and stabilized the fertilizer market.
The letter also listed UN actions that could ease commerce in the wake of restrictions against Russia, such as obtaining permits from the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, as well as giving explanations and recommendations to the business community.
In addition, the Secretary-General’s letter described how the UN desired a “dedicated solutions” in the financial and private industries, including developing a “bespoke payments mechanism” for the Russian Agricultural Bank beyond the SWIFT global banking system.
On the other hand, Moscow also revealed that, the Agric Bank access to the SWIFT banking system, was a driving force in its decision-making. Guterres expressed his dissatisfaction that, Moscow turned blind eye to his new proposal.
Despite expressing his concerns about Russia pulling out of the deal, the Secretary-General remains optimistic that, grains and fertilizers from both Ukraine and Russia will continue to reach the international markets.
While “taking into account the rise in human suffering that will inevitably result from today’s decision,” Mr. Guterres said he will continue to be committed to improving the worldwide availability of food and food price stability.
Furthermore, the President of the UN general assembly, Csaba Korosi weighed into the discussions of the Russia’s withdrawal from the Black sea grain deal with Ukraine. He however, entreated the two nations to return to the negotiating table.
“The challenges are complex, they are interconnected, but they are not insurmountable. It is not too late,” a statement issued by his Spokesperson said.
The President also expressed his regret about Moscow’s decision to call off the initiative. The Black Sea deal “has provided a lifeline to millions of people hit hard by the global food security crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine.”