China calls for early resumption of grain exports from Russia, Ukraine

China calls for early resumption of grain exports from Russia, Ukraine

China hopes parties will work together with relevant UN agencies, resume export of grain at early date, says Chinese official at UN

By Dilara Karatas

ANKARA (AA) — China has called for an early resumption to Russia and Ukraine's grain and fertilizer exports soon after a landmark agreement was suspended earlier this week.

During a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Geng Shuang underlined the importance of the Black Sea grain deal for global food security, according to Chinese broadcaster CGTN.

China hopes the parties concerned work together with the relevant UN agencies and resume the export of grain and fertilizer from Russia and Ukraine at an early date, he added.

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said many people were disappointed by Russia's decision on Monday to withdraw from the grain deal, which was brokered by the UN and Türkiye last year and ensured the safe passage of more than 32 million tons of Ukrainian grain.

He underlined that for as many as 362 million people, the agreement's suspension was "a matter of threat to their future and the future of their children and their families."

"They're not sad, they're angry. They're worried, they're concerned. Some will go hungry, some will starve, many may die as a result of these decisions," he added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for restoration of the deal, and also called on Western countries to consider Russia's demands.

The accord was signed in Istanbul in July last year by Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye and the UN, creating a safe corridor through the Black Sea for exports from three Ukrainian ports halted since the war began in February 2022.

It helped rein in spiraling prices and ease a global food crisis by restoring the flow of wheat, sunflower oil, fertilizer and other products from Ukraine, one of the largest grain exporters in the world.

Moscow this week refused to extend the agreement beyond July 17, saying parts related to its demands have "not been implemented so far," referring to the removal of obstacles to its own fertilizer exports, including the inclusion of the state-owned Russian Agricultural Bank in the SWIFT international payment system.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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