Russia asks the UN to facilitate the partial lifting of sanctions with a view to grain exports

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, asked the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, to facilitate as far as possible the partial lifting of sanctions on Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine to facilitate the agreement signed on Friday in Istanbul that resumes Ukrainian grain exports despite the conflict.

Lavrov, visiting Egypt, stated that he received guarantees from Guterres himself to negotiate these suspensions: “The UN Secretary-General volunteered to get these illegitimate restrictions lifted. And let’s hope he succeeds.”

Although the sanctions do not affect the export of Russian food – the Istanbul agreement included a provision to lift warnings against the export of fertilizer – there are, in Lavrov’s opinion, a series of strictly commercial impediments that hinder Russian participation in the agreement.

Thus, Lavrov called for one more step to deactivate “illegitimate sanctions, which include insurers, access to foreign ports of foreign ships and ships to Russian ports“, According to statements collected by the Interfax agency.

Finally, the Russian Foreign Minister reiterated “the commitment of Russian exporters of grain products to the fulfillment of all their obligations”, that may be affected by the Istanbul agreement.

Russia launched an attack on the port of Odessa on Saturday, one of those mentioned in the agreement. Ukraine and the Western community condemned the attack while Moscow assured that it was a bombardment directed exclusively against military objectives.

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