Since the end of the grain deal between Moscow and Kiev, Ukraine is no longer able to export grain. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (74) wants to save the deal by making concessions to the Kremlin. In a letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (73) on August 28, he offered four suggestions through which he would go some way to meeting Russian demands. As the letter indirectly shows, the United Nations worked closely with the European Union. The letter is now available from the German Press Agency. “Bild” was the first to report on this.
An approved Russian Agricultural Bank could therefore set up a subsidiary and thus reconnect to SWIFT, the international financial communications network, for some payments. Exports of fertilizers and some agricultural products from Russia should be possible again within 30 days. “The subsidiary would then play the role of an interface without playing the role of a bank,” writes Guterres.
The EU Commission did not want to comment on the letter, but a spokesperson confirmed: It is working on the idea of a subsidiary of the Russian Agricultural Bank to find a more permanent solution to enable SWIFT payments in line with EU sanctions. Used to be. Agriculture and food transactions.
Secondly, Russian ships should be comprehensively insured against Ukrainian attacks when exporting. “The UN will support assurances highlighting the importance of Russian exports to global food security,” the UN Secretary-General writes. With the help of British ship insurer Lloyd’s, the insurance should be ready in four to six weeks.
Third, the frozen assets of Russian fertilizer companies in Europe should be returned. Guterres: “The UN can continue to help free the frozen assets of Russian fertilizer companies in the EU.”
It added that Russia “must provide a list of specific accounts or assets” and “Russian fertilizer companies must apply to the relevant EU national authorities for the relevant exemptions.” The UN then seeks to work with national authorities and the EU.
Fourth, Russian ships should again be allowed to enter European ports. Guterres wants to “enable effective access of Russian ships carrying food and fertilizer products to EU ports through accelerated port approvals.”
The United Nations stands ready to consider further options to facilitate this access. The UN Secretary-General stressed that UN officials have already “discussed with the European Commission and selected port authorities (Germany, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands).”
The agreement reached in the summer of 2022 and currently suspended by the Kremlin was seen as a milestone in reducing rising grain prices as millions face hunger. Along with the agreement, a second agreement also decided on the export of fertilizers and food from Russia. Since then, Moscow has complained that it is effectively unable to export anything because of the sanctions.
According to the United Nations, fertilizer is also key to curbing the global hunger crisis. According to information, fertilizer prices in the world market were at times 250 percent higher than before the war.
“The UN is not trying to reward Russia. We are striving to improve food security around the world. Our goals are of a purely humanitarian nature, ”the UN body told the German press agency.