UN chief expected to disclose talks on Ukraine grain exports – UN officials


UN chief Antonio Guterres has warned Ukraine War will worsen food, energy, and economic crises in poor countries.

The United Nations chief, Antonio Guterres, is expected to publicly disclose on Wednesday that he is in talks with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the United States, and the European Union aimed at restoring Ukraine grain shipments and reviving fertilizer exports from Russia and Belarus, UN officials said.

The war in Ukraine has fuelled soaring global prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel, and fertilizer, and Guterres has warned it will worsen food, energy, and economic crises in poor countries.

Ukraine, a major agricultural producer, used to export most of its goods through seaports but since Russia’s February 24 invasion it has been forced to export by train via its western border or via its small Danube River ports.

After visiting Moscow and Kyiv late last month, Guterres pledged to help bring back to the world markets the agriculture production of Ukraine and the food and fertilizer production of Russia and Belarus despite the war.

Guterres is expected to discuss his efforts at a “Global Food Security Call to Action” ministerial meeting hosted by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the UN in New York later on Wednesday. Blinken will also chair a Security Council meeting on conflict and food security on Thursday.

US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, blamed Russia’s war in Ukraine – which Moscow calls a “special military operation” – for worsening global food shortage.

“Their blockade of ports not allowing food and wheat to leave Ukraine, their efforts to keep farmers from planting their farms, their attacks on food silos – all of this has contributed to an already dire situation,” Thomas-Greenfield told a UNICEF event on Tuesday.




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