UN proposes 'mutually beneficial' plan to secure Black Sea grain deal

02 June 20232 min reading

The United Nations (UN) has proposed a plan to save the Black Sea grain deal by suggesting that Ukraine, Russia and Türkiye start preparatory work for the transit of Russian ammonia through Ukraine, Reuters reports. The UN is also calling for parallel talks on the extension of the deal to other Ukrainian ports and other cargoes.

The proposal is aimed at salvaging the deal and allowing safe Black Sea grain exports. The UN is also calling for parallel talks on the extension of the deal to other Ukrainian ports and other cargoes. While Ukraine and Türkiye are in favour of the proposal, Russia has yet to have a reaction. The UN's efforts come as Russia has threatened to end the initiative unless obstacles to Russian grain and fertiliser exports are removed.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed ongoing talks and discussions on improving the facilitation of the Joint Coordination Centre and addressing the issue of ammonia exports. The Black Sea Grain Initiative, brokered by the UN and Türkiye between Moscow and Kiev in 2022, was established to address the global food crisis exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a major global grain exporter.

According to Reuters, the UN made an official appeal to the Ukrainian, Turkish and Russian leaders, proposing a mutually beneficial algorithm to significantly improve the operation of the grain corridor. Ukraine and Türkiye have agreed to work on the proposed algorithm, but as of 30 May, Russia has not agreed, despite having favourable positions within the algorithm. Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of unreasonably restricting the work of the Black Sea grain trade since mid-April, while Russia has denied this and demanded the unblocking of ammonia transit through the Ukrainian port of Pivdennyi.

Ukraine has said that it would take about 30 days for workers to prepare the pipeline for the transit of ammonia, and the country is seeking guarantees from Moscow and the UN that the grain trade will function normally if Ukraine allows the export of Russian ammonia. Kiev has also expressed its willingness to consider allowing the transit of ammonia on the condition that the Black Sea grain deal is expanded to include more Ukrainian ports and a wider range of commodities.

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