Join our crew and become one of the 106,624 members that receive our newsletter.

U.N. Had ‘Constructive’ Talks on Russian Grain, Fertilizer Exports

Unity N, a cargo carrying over 71,000 tonnes of Ukrainian corn, is moored after loading in the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, April 28, 2022. Picture taken April 28, 2022. Inquam Photos/Daniel Stoenciu via REUTERS

U.N. Had ‘Constructive’ Talks on Russian Grain, Fertilizer Exports

Reuters
Total Views: 2827
May 31, 2022

U.S. ready to give “comfort letters” to shipping and insurance to encourage needed grain and fertilizer exports.

Reuters

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS, May 31 (Reuters) – A senior U.N. official had “constructive discussions” in Moscow with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov on facilitating Russian grain and fertilizer exports to global markets, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

The U.N. official, Rebecca Grynspan, is now in Washington for talks on the same issue “with the key aim of addressing growing global food insecurity,” Dujarric said. 

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the United States is prepared to give “comfort letters” to shipping and insurance companies to help facilitate exports of Russian grain and fertilizer. 

She noted that Russian grain and fertilizer were not directly sanctioned by the United States but that “companies are a little nervous and we’re prepared to give them comfort letters if that will help to encourage them.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who visited Moscow and Kyiv last month, is trying to broker what he calls a “package deal” to resume both Ukrainian food exports and Russian food and fertilizer exports. 

Russia’s war in Ukraine has fueled a global food crisis with prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer soaring. Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat supplies, while Russia is also a key fertilizer exporter and Ukraine is a major exporter of corn and sunflower oil.

Since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, Ukrainian grain shipments from its Black Sea ports have stalled and more than 20 million tonnes of grain are stuck in silos, while Moscow says the chilling effect of Western sanctions imposed on Russia over the war has disrupted its fertilizer and grain exports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russia was ready to facilitate the unhindered export of grain from Ukrainian ports in coordination with Turkey, according to a Kremlin readout of talks with President Tayyip Erdogan. 

“The Secretary-General is extremely grateful for the support that Turkey is giving in addressing the situation in the Black Sea and supporting the Secretary-General’s own efforts,” Dujarric said. 

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Costas Pitas and Sandra Maler)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022.

Unlock Exclusive Insights Today!

Join the gCaptain Club for curated content, insider opinions, and vibrant community discussions.

Sign Up
Back to Main
polygon icon polygon icon

Why Join the gCaptain Club?

Access exclusive insights, engage in vibrant discussions, and gain perspectives from our CEO.

Sign Up
close

JOIN OUR CREW

Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 106,624 members delivered daily straight to your inbox.

gCaptain’s full coverage of the maritime shipping industry, including containerships, tankers, dry bulk, LNG, breakbulk and more.