More to be done to reintegrate Russian, Ukrainian food and fertilizers into global market: UN

(Xinhua) 11:12, November 19, 2022

GENEVA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- More remains to be done for the reintegration of Russian and Ukrainian food and fertilizers into the global markets, particularly in light of the fertilizer crunch caused by insufficient volumes and high costs, a senior United Nations (UN) official said here on Friday.

Rebeca Grynspan, secretary general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), told a press briefing here that while food and fertilizers produced in Russia are exempt from the sanctions, the knock-on effects of the sanctions and their differing interpretations tend to cause bottlenecks in the trade and export of such products.

According to the UN official, currently some 300,000 tonnes of Russian fertilizer are stranded in European ports.

She said that it had been clarified that the services associated with the export of food and fertilizers from Russia, such as insurance, are also exempt from sanctions. A platform will be set up so that insurance companies will no longer have to conduct their due diligence on a case-by-case basis, she added.

On July 22, Russia and Ukraine separately signed the Black Sea Grain Initiative in Istanbul with Türkiye and the UN on grain and fertilizer exports from Ukraine and Russia to ensure supplies to global markets amid the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict.

The initial duration of the deal is 120 days, which expires on Nov. 19. Russia and Ukraine agreed on Thursday to prolong the deal on the export of grain and fertilizers from Black Sea ports for a further 120 days.

There had been some progress on a few important questions concerning the issue, she said, adding that it was vital to scale up the Initiative, and the UN is striving to create the necessary conditions by bringing together the private sector, including traders and shipping companies, and regulators to identify the practical difficulties stemming from the sanctions. 

(Web editor: Zhang Wenjie, Wu Chaolan)


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