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Russia/Ukraine: Statement by High Representative Josep Borrell on the agreement on export of grains

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The European Union welcomes the agreements signed today in Istanbul by Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations to unblock the Black Sea for Ukrainian exports of grains.

This is a critical step forward  in efforts to overcome the global food insecurity caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Its success will depend on the swift and good faith implementation of today’s agreement.

Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine is having a devastating global impact. Russia is deliberately destroying Ukraine’s agricultural and transport infrastructure and equipment, causing fuel shortages and creating world wide food supply chain problems through the blocking of Ukraine’s ports and the looting of Ukrainian grain. Russia has in fact endangered food security for millions of people across the world.  The present agreement offers an opportunity to start reversing this negative course.

The European Union has been supporting the relentless efforts of Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths and UNCTADs Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan, under the leadership of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, to find ways to unblock Ukrainian agricultural exports. We also commend Turkey for its important role in brokering this agreement and in supporting its implementation.

The EU remains committed to helping Ukraine bring as much of its grain into global markets as quickly as possible. The EU’s Solidarity Lanes plan has facilitated the export of 2,5 million tons in June alone. We are also working closely with partners such as the UN and G7, to promote a multilateral response to broader aspects of global food security. In this context, we are mobilising over €7.7 billion until 2024.

In line with the UN Charter, the EU will continue to work with and support the UN Secretary General in addressing the consequences of this war deliberately launched by the Russian leadership.