April 19, 2024

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Russia and UN on Fertilizer and Grain Exports

Russia and UN on Fertilizer and Grain Exports

Senior UN officials and Russia’s deputy foreign minister discussed sanctions on Russia’s fertilizer and grain exports on Friday before a crucial deal to tackle the food crisis expires.

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After a meeting between the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) and the head of the UN humanitarian agency, Rebecca Grynspan, the first compost will be sent to Malawi next week, the UN said. Agency, Martin Griffiths and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin.

“The world cannot allow global fertilizer access problems to turn into global food shortages, which is why the UN is calling on all actors to quickly remove all remaining barriers to export and trade, transporting fertilizers to the countries that need them most,” the press release recalls.

UN in Geneva After hours of talks at the headquarters, the Palais des Nations, no statement was issued after the meeting.

The policy on Russian exports of fertilizers and food products was adopted in Turkey on July 22, while the agreement on Ukrainian grain exports expires on November 19.

The multi-party control mechanism has made it possible to export 10.2 million tons of grain and food products from Ukraine, reduce prices on the world market and deliver to some countries.

On the other hand, the clause on Russian exports remains more or less a dead letter, much to the dismay of Moscow, which sees a double standard in it.

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The two top UN representatives – very involved in these delicate negotiations – “were briefed on initiatives taken to facilitate payment, insurance and access to EU ports for grains and fertilisers”, the press release underlined.

While the sanctions that have hit Russia since its February 24 invasion of Ukraine have excluded fertilizers and grain, the fear of accidentally crossing a red line and finding yourself on the wrong side of the law is paralyzing transporters and driving up insurance premiums.

“The UN further updated the recently issued public licences, places for fertilizer exports to developing countries and its ongoing engagement with the private sector and member states,” the statement said.

Days before the deadline, Russia has yet to indicate whether it will extend a July 22 agreement on Ukrainian exports, which are seen by the international community as crucial to solving a serious food crisis.

The prospect of not renewing the Ukrainian section of the July 22 accords is worrisome.

“The situation could be very complex and the impacts could be very serious,” warned Boubaker Ben-Belhassen, director of the FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, during a briefing in Geneva on Friday.

“In the short term, prices will definitely rise, especially for wheat, corn and sunflower oil,” he said.

“The UN remains committed to addressing the crisis in the global fertilizer market where farmers, particularly smallholder farmers in developing countries, are excluded from production due to high fertilizer costs,” the report said.