U.S. backs U.N. push to get Ukraine grain again to international market

Ears of wheat are seen in a discipline close to the village of Zhovtneve, Ukraine, July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photograph/File Photograph

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UNITED NATIONS, Could 16 (Reuters) – The US helps efforts by U.N. Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres to get Ukrainian grain again into the worldwide market amid the struggle, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations mentioned on Monday.

“He has spoken to us about his plans and his discussions with the Ukrainians and the Russians on this difficulty,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield advised reporters with out giving additional particulars.

After visiting Moscow and Kyiv late final month, Guterres mentioned he was decided to assist convey again to world markets the agriculture manufacturing of Ukraine and the meals and fertilizer manufacturing of Russia and Belarus regardless of the struggle. learn extra

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The Wall Avenue Journal reported on Monday that Guterres has requested Russia to permit the cargo of some Ukrainian grain in return for strikes to assist facilitate Russian and Belarusian exports of potash fertilizer.

Guterres’ spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, declined to remark. Russia’s mission to the United Nations in New York didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine – which it calls a “particular army operation” – has despatched international costs for grains, cooking oils, gas and fertilizer hovering, with Guterres warning it can worsen a meals disaster in poor international locations.

Russia and Ukraine collectively account for almost a 3rd of worldwide wheat provides. Ukraine can also be a significant exporter of corn, barley, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil, whereas Russia and Belarus – which has backed Moscow in its struggle in Ukraine – account for greater than 40% of worldwide exports of crop nutrient potash.

The battle has additionally disrupted delivery within the Black Sea, throttling exports from Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine has been pressured to now export by prepare or its small Danube River ports. Its grain exports have greater than halved to date in Could from the identical interval a yr in the past, agriculture ministry information exhibits.

Thomas-Greenfield famous that there have been no U.S. sanctions on Russian agricultural merchandise. Washington did blacklist the exporting arm of Belarusian state potash producer in December to punish President Alexander Lukashenko for alleged election rigging and cracking down on the opposition.

U.N. meals chief David Beasley warned the U.N. Safety Council in March that the World Meals Programme purchased 50% of its grain from Ukraine and the struggle was threatening WFP’s capacity to feed some 125 million folks globally.

Guterres has additionally mentioned 36 international locations rely on Russia and Ukraine for greater than half of their wheat imports, together with a few of the poorest and most weak on the planet, together with Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Thomas-Greenfield mentioned the Biden administration was working with U.S. farmers to see “how we will present extra assist to the worldwide market from U.S. grains.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is because of host a “international meals safety name to motion” ministerial assembly on the United Nations on Wednesday and chair a U.N. Safety Council assembly on battle and meals safety on Thursday.

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Extra reporting by Caroline Stauffer in Chicago;
Modifying by Mary Milliken and Sandra Maler

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