Bild has obtained a letter from which it appears that the UN is proposing to ease the sanctions imposed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine in exchange for renewing the grain deal. Kyiv has already reacted to the publication.
The German “Bild” claims to have obtained a letter from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Lavrov, dated August 28 this year.
In the letter, Guterres allegedly proposed a four-point agreement to the head of Russian diplomacy, which should lead to the restoration of the grain agreement. The letter shows that in exchange for resuming the grain agreement and exporting grain from Ukraine, the UN was to offer to circumvent the sanctions imposed on Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine.
Four point proposition
The proposals were to include the abolition of EU sanctions against Rosselkhozbank, i.e. the Russian Agricultural Bank, which would enable it to bypass restrictions related to its disconnection from the SWIFT system. The second point was to insure Russian cargo ships against Ukrainian attacks during sailings on the Black and Azov Seas.
In the third point, the UN secretary-general allegedly promised the Russian authorities assistance in returning the property frozen as a result of the sanctions. Moreover, the letter allegedly included a proposal to allow Russian ships carrying food and fertilizers to dock in ports of European Union countries.
According to “Bild”, the Russians are analyzing the proposals and wondering if they are “too good to be true”. In turn, representatives of the Ukrainian authorities believe that Gutteres’ proposals are “offensive” and are a “reward for Russia’s aggressive behavior.”
Kiev reacted strongly to the reports of the German tabloid. “The position of the Ukrainian side remains unchanged: weakening part of the sanctions regime against Russia in exchange for restoring the grain agreement will be a victory for Russian food blackmail and an invitation to further waves of blackmail from Moscow,” said Oleh Nikolenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quoted by “Ukrainska Pravda”.
At the same time, Nikołenko assured that Ukraine is ready to continue exporting grain to world markets both as part of the so-called the Black Sea initiative as well as alternative routes.
After the last meeting with Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Ukraine should “soften” its negotiating position towards Russia to make it possible to resume talks on the grain agreement.