Lavrov says receives GuterresТ letter with grain deal ideas
UN/ANKARA/MOSCOW, Apr 25 (PRIME) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has received a letter from U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres with ideas about full implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Lavrov said following an hour-long meeting with Guterres.
УWe discussed all the urgent of the current agenda, and Antonio Guterres paid special attention to the prospects of further implementation of the so-called Black Sea Initiative in the context of his own suggestions that was submitted last year and approved on July 22, 2022, and which was a package deal as he said himself,Ф he said.
УIt is about helping exports of Ukrainian grain from the Ukrainian ports and a similar obligation to the Russian Federation to remove the obstacles created by the Western countries on the export way of our grain and fertilizers.Ф
The progress in the Russian part of the deal is very slow, he said.
УHe submitted his ideas to us in the form of a letter, and we obviously need to study the letter. So far, as I told Antonio Guterres, we see no wish of the Western countries to make the steps necessary for successful implementation of the Secretary GeneralТs initiative,Ф he said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in an interview to TV100 that Guterres had suggested using Turkish banks as mediators for exports of Russian agricultural products, and that the banks should receive guarantees.
УIn fact, the grain and fertilizers are not part of the sanction lists, but ships donТt have access to the ports, insurance companies create obstacles, and it is impossible to make a payment because Russian banks were disconnected from SWIFT. Russia demands connection of Russian Agricultural Bank to SWIFT, and it is for the U.N. to simplify the process. We act as a mediator here. The U.N. Secretary General has suggested mediation of Turkish banks in this process,Ф he said.
But the banks need guarantees that they will suffer no sanctions or obstacles in the process, he added.
A Russian Defense Ministry representative said that Ukraine had violated the guarantees on non-exploitation of the humanitarian corridor on March 23 and April 24 by attacking the city of Sevastopol and the civil infrastructure of Crimea. Ukraine sent unmanned motor boats from the port of Odessa to attack Sevastopol and Crimea using the port chosen for implementation of the Black Sea Initiative.
UkraineТs terrorist attacks jeopardize prolongation of the grain deal after May 18, the representative said.