United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres presented “a set of concrete proposals” in order to renew the Black Sea grain deal in a letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
According to Guterres, it is “extremely important to renew” the grain deal.
He said the initiative "has given a very important contribution to make the food markets more adequate to the UN objectives of food security,” such as bringing down prices and creating “conditions for access to the global markets of many countries, namely the developing world.”
However, he said, the UN “took into concern the Russian requests.”
“We have some concrete solutions for the concerns allowing for a more effective access of Russian food and fertilizers to global markets at adequate prices,” he said.
Guterres said he believes the UN “presented a proposal that could be the basis for a renewal, but a renewal that must be stable.”
"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 everybody,” Guterres said.
Some context: Earlier Thursday, Lavrov said Russia is ready to return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative as soon as promises made to Moscow become guarantees.
Russia withdrew from the initiative in July, nearly a year after it was brokered by Turkey and the UN to guarantee the safe passage of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea and help facilitate Russian exports of grain and fertilizer.
Russia has persistently complained that benefits due under the agreement never materialized.