Tuesday, October 24, 2023 by Arsenio Toledo
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accused the European Union (EU) of not releasing Russian fertilizer cargoes intended as humanitarian aid for countries in the global south.
According to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, more than 96,000 tons of Russian fertilizer is currently being held in EU ports. (Related: Study: fertilizer inflation crisis driven by Ukraine conflict could result in a million more deaths due to hunger.)
“As part of the Russia-[United Nations] Memorandum on Sept. 7, 2022 … Russia took the initiative to send 262,000 tons of mineral fertilizers blocked in the ports of Latvia, Estonia, Belgium and the Netherlands as humanitarian aid to the poorest countries,” wrote the Foreign Ministry. “Since then, however, only two deliveries have been completed.”
The Foreign Ministry reported that this stalling of Russian goods comes as most kinds of Russian exports continue to be hampered by numerous obstacles due to Western sanctions, including significant taxes and exorbitant fees for storage, shipment and other logistics services. Russia reported that it is also unable to pay for any of these services after it was cut off from the international SWIFT interbank system.
The Foreign Ministry reports that these conditions are yet more examples “of the hypocrisy of Western countries.” The ministry added that EU has constantly claimed that restrictions on Russian fertilizer imports do not exist, but despite this Brussels continues to block “even purely humanitarian, free deliveries” of Russian goods.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the release of three other planned shipments “has been stalled” despite the fact that all preparatory procedures and other red tape with the EU has been dealt with.
These three shipments are intended to go to Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, which are meant to receive 34,000 tons, 23,000 tons and 55,000 tons of fertilizer, respectively.
The Foreign Ministry has described the blockade of crucial fertilizer in EU ports as “illegal,” and urged the bloc’s authorities to release the shipments.
“It’s time for Brussels, London and Washington to either tie their actions with words about the non-extension of their illegal sanctions on Russian agricultural products, or stop lying to consumers, especially from the countries of the global south, who bear the burden of the consequences of restrictions imposed [on Russia],” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.
Russian fertilizers are a key point in the UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal, under which Russia and Ukraine agreed to facilitate the delivery of Ukrainian grain to world markets so long as Western barriers preventing the export of Russian agricultural products, including fertilizer, would be lifted.
The deal was scrapped this year, with Moscow claiming that Western sanctions continue to impede its exports. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres claims that Russia violated the deal and has urged Russia to return to the agreement. But Moscow is now demanding that the West meet all previously agreed conditions for the deal before it returns.
Learn the latest news involving fertilizer production and exports at FertilizerWatch.com.
Watch this episode of “Brighteon Broadcast News” as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, discusses, among other topics, how the government is spending billions of taxpayer dollars to buy fertilizer for Ukrainian farmers.
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