Concerned for Vulnerable People Worldwide, Secretary-General Offers Russian Federation President Proposal to Harmonize Implementation of 2022 Istanbul Agreements

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

As you know, the Secretary-General has been very much focused on ensuring the continuous access to global markets of food and fertilizer exports from the Russian Federation and Ukraine for global food security.  The full implementation of the agreements signed in Istanbul in July 2022 is critical to ensuring that these products can reach global markets smoothly, efficiently and at scale.

Together, the agreements have been contributing to sustained reductions in global food prices, which are now more than 23 per cent below the record highs reached in March 2022.  The Secretary-General is grateful for the continued engagement of Türkiye with the same objective.

As part of his ongoing efforts in this regard, the Secretary-General sent a letter yesterday to the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir V. Putin, outlining a proposal aiming to harmonize the vital further implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding with the vital need to keep the Black Sea Grain Initiative operational.

The objective is to remove hurdles affecting financial transactions through the Russian Agricultural Bank, a major concern expressed by the Russian Federation, and simultaneously allow for the continued flow of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.

For his part, the Secretary-General will continue to stress the crucial importance of food and fertilizer exports from both the Russian Federation and Ukraine to global food security.  His overriding concern remains for vulnerable people around the world, who stand to lose the most from any unravelling of the Istanbul arrangements and a likely subsequent rise in global food and fertilizer prices.

The Secretary-General remains engaged with all relevant parties on this issue and expresses his willingness to further engage on his proposal with the Russian Federation.

For information media. Not an official record.