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28 May, 2023 14:14

UN seeks to ease Russian agricultural exports to Africa – official

The global body is working with African Export-Import Bank on a platform to facilitate transactions involving Russian grain supplies, Rebeca Grynspan has said
UN seeks to ease Russian agricultural exports to Africa – official

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has been working on facilitating Russian grain and fertilizer exports to Africa, its head, Rebeca Grynspan Mayufis, told Reuters this week. The UN is cooperating with Cairo-based African Export-Import Bank to this end, she added.

“We are working with them [Afreximbank] and making a platform that will allow for a more agile due diligence, with the clients to comply with the sanctions but allow for the transactions of food and fertilizers to Africa,” Grynspan said. She did not elaborate on the details of the mechanism being developed.

Under the grain deal struck last July by Russia and Ukraine with UN and Turkish mediation, the international body is obligated to help Moscow overcome the obstacles it was facing to exporting its grain and fertilizer. The agreement also involved allowing Russia to buy agricultural equipment and spare parts, as well as lifting a ban on insurance coverage and unfreezing the accounts of relevant Russian companies.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, however, claims that none of this has been done to date. Russia previously warned that it would scrap the deal altogether after it expires on July 17 if its plight is still ignored. Western nations continue to dismiss Russia’s warnings by saying that its agricultural exports are not subject to sanctions. Moscow maintains that restrictions on payments, international transactions, and logistics linked to the grain trade have curtailed its exports.

“We have not turned the corner on this,” Grynspan stated, while calling the grain deal a “a life line for food security” in the world.