is still a negotiation In development, the positions are rigid and everything will depend on the development of a complex geopolitical engineering operation. But the concrete thing is that the effort has been real. A few days after expiration on Monday, the Initiative of the grain of the Black Seathe most successful diplomatic mediation of the war in Ukraine, the UN has held a series of confidential meetings this week to prevent this agreement, which in the last year stopped the rise in prices prices of the foodsturns into wet paper.
The meetings were held in Brussels after the UN emphasized that the need is now to “remove obstacles” that currently affect the financial transactions of the Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank), which, according to Moscow, hinder their exports of Russian fertilizers due to Western sanctions. Indeed, the memorandum on the export of fertilizers, the second tie-in agreement to the main one, key to food security in developing countries, has so far worked in fits and starts. This also affects “the continuous flow of Ukrainian grains through the Black Sea,” the international organization said on Wednesday.
With this preamble, the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, stayed Thursday and Friday in the Belgian city accompanied by some of the most influential officials of the UN, among them the Costa Rican Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary General of UNCTAD, the organization trade and organization development. Still in Brussels, Guterres also met Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and King Filippo.
Neither the site nor Guterres’s companions seemed random. Belgium is the country whose legislation regulates the sistema Swift, from which all sanctioned Russian entities have been disconnected. And Grynspan is the UN official who has held meetings in the past month with senior Russian government officials, including the Russian Federation’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Vershinin.
However, as international press agencies leaked and this newspaper was able to confirm, the Guterres negotiation was always uphill. “A key demand from Moscow is the reconnection of Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT. The European Union (EU) cut it off in June 2022 due to the invasion Russia from Ukraine in February 2022,” recalled Reuters, which was able to confirm the information with European sources. For this reason, a proposal to Moscow was to “give the EU time to connect a subsidiary of Rosselkhozbank to SWIFT,” added Reuters.
The perspectives of final agreements not particularly flattering. The principles with which the diplomatic operation would be kept alive were not communicated on Friday. Turkey, which is also sponsoring the Black Sea Initiative, has said it hopes that a compromise will be reached. But Russia, Ukraine (which has to sign the agreement on the export of grains) and even the UN remained silent, while the US suggested that Moscow is blackmailing once again to the West. Guterres left Brussels by plane with this difficult reality.
The agreement on the fertilizers is considered key to Africa y Latin Americaa continent that is highly dependent on these products to keep its agriculture. The reason is that Russia is one of the main exporters of these products in the world. Instead, the Black Sea Initiative has been important in curbing food prices and export Ukrainian grain, 20% of which has gone to low and low income countries.
However, the UN itself has complained in recent months about the slowdown in inspections of ships and the exclusion of the port of Yuzhny/Pivdennyi from the agreement. Therefore, he asked the parties to speed up operations and guarantee the continuity of this agreement that he considers “vital”.
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