Guterres hails ‘critical step forward’ on resuming Ukraine grain exports

The UN chief on Wednesday described progress between Russia and Ukraine on allowing the resumption of grain exports during UN-brokered talks in Türkiye, as a “ray of hope to ease human suffering and alleviate hunger around the world.”

Secretary-General António Guterres said that a “critical step forward” had been taken to allow the “safe and secure export” of millions of tonnes of grain via the Black Sea, but emphasized that no formal agreement has yet been signed between Russia and Ukraine.

The Government of Türkiye has been working with the UN to broker a deal for weeks, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, saw a major rise in prices of grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer, together with major supply chain issues across the world.

In a world darkened by global crises, today, at last, we have a ray of hope”, said Mr. Guterres, briefing correspondents at UN Headquarters in New York.

“A ray of hope to ease human suffering and alleviate hunger around the world. A ray of hope to support developing countries and the most vulnerable people. A ray of hope to bring a measure of much-needed stability to the global food system.” More