Secretary-General, Disappointed by Port Excluded from Black Sea Initiative, Slow Pace of Inspections, Urges All Parties to Ensure Vital Agreement Continues

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General is disappointed by the slowing pace of inspections and the exclusion of the port of Yuzhny/Pivdennyi from the Black Sea Initiative.  This has resulted in a reduction in the movement of vessels coming in and out of Ukrainian sea ports, leading to a drop in the supply of essential foodstuffs to global markets.

Food exports through the maritime humanitarian corridor have dropped significantly from a peak of 4.2 million metric tons in October 2022 to 1.3 million metric tons in May 2023, the lowest volume since the Initiative began last year.

The Secretary-General calls on the parties to accelerate operations and urges them to do their utmost to ensure the continuation of this vital agreement, which is up for renewal on 17 July.

The United Nations is fully committed to supporting the implementation of both the Black Sea Initiative and the Memorandum of Understanding on Russian food and fertilizer exports so that exports of food and fertilizers, including ammonia, from the Russian Federation and Ukraine reach markets around the world safely and predictably.  This is especially critical now as the new grain harvest begins in both Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

For information media. Not an official record.