Russia’s grain exports from the Black Sea, which Moscow claims were being blocked under a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey, may soon be resolved, according to recent reports.
The United Nations (UN) is partnering with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to establish a platform aimed at streamlining transactions for Russian exports of grain and fertilizer to Africa, as confirmed by the top UN trade official in a statement to Reuters on May 24th.
Under an agreement forged in July of last year, the UN has committed to assisting Russia in overcoming any obstacle to its grain and fertilizer exports for a duration of three years. This agreement coincided with a separate deal permitting the safe export of food and fertilizer from Ukraine through the Black Sea following Russia’s invasion in February 2022, according to Middle East Monitor.
These agreements were designed to address the global food crisis, which the UN asserted was exacerbated by the war, as both countries play significant roles in producing grain and fertilizer for international markets, particularly in Africa and the Middle East.
Rebeca Grynspan, the individual responsible for implementing the UN’s deal with Russia, states in an interview that the Black Sea accord and the UN-Russia pact is continuing to “be a life line for food security” worldwide.
Grynspan expanded on the goal of this platform and stated, “We are working with them (Afreximbank) and making a platform that will allow for a more agile due diligence with the clients to comply with the sanctions, but allow for the transactions of food and fertilizers with Africa.”
Though Moscow has threatened to withdraw from the Black Sea agreement unless its demands to enhance its own food and fertilizer exports are met, the agreement was recently extended for the third time, with Russia agreeing to an additional two-month extension.
About 260,000 metric tonnes of Russian fertilizer have been stuck in several European ports.The United Nations is helping to arrange the release of the first two shipments, to Malawi and Kenya, with other possible shipments heading for Nigeria and possibly Sri Lanka and South Africa, Grynspan said.
Middle East Monitor