IMO statement on Black Sea Grain Initiative

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Following Russia’s exit from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the United Nations-backed deal specifically allowing for commercial food and fertilizer (including ammonia) exports from three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has issued a statement, saying:

“I deeply regret to learn of the disruption to the Black Sea Initiative. The unimpeded flow of shipping around the globe is of critical importance and central to the work of the IMO.

“The movement of ships through the Black Sea Initiative and its impact in getting food to those who need it most, as well as stabilizing world food prices, is proof that shipping must always continue to move.

“IMO remains ready to support the UN’s efforts to find pathways for solutions to preserve the global supply chain and food security.”

At the signing ceremony of the Initiative in Istanbul on July 2022, UN Secretary-General António Guterres had called the deal “a beacon of hope’ in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict that would help stave off famine affecting millions.
Since the ending of the Initiative there have been reported Russian air strikes on Black Sea ports destroying an alleged 60,000 tonnes of grain and damaging infrastructure.

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