UN chief sends Russia bid to revive Black Sea grain deal

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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday that he had sent Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov 'a set of concrete proposals' aimed at reviving a deal that allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea.

Turkish-flagged bulker TQ Samsun, carrying grain under UN's Black Sea Grain Initiative, is pictured in the Black Sea, north of Bosphorus Strait, off Istanbul, Turkey July 17, 2023. REUTERS/Yoruk Isik/File PhotoUNITED NATIONS, Aug 31 - United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday that he had sent Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "a set of concrete proposals" aimed at reviving a deal that allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea.

The Black Sea grain deal was intended to combat a global food crisis that the United Nations said had been worsened by Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine are both leading grain exporters. "We cannot have a Black Sea initiative that moves from crisis to crisis, from suspension to suspension. We need to have something that works and that works to the benefit of everyone," he said.

Lavrov said earlier on Thursday, after meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Moscow, that Russia seesRussia has said that ifto improve its own exports of grain and fertilizer were met, it would consider resurrecting the Black Sea agreement. One of Moscow's main demands is for the Russian Agricultural Bank to be reconnected to the SWIFT international payments system. The EU cut it off in June 2022.

 

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