Photo: MARKUS SHREIBER/AP/PICTURE ALLIANCE/Deutsche Welle
French President Emmanuel Macron announced this Tuesday (05.31.2022) that he proposed to his counterpart Vladimir Putin to vote a resolution at the UN to lift the Russian blockade of the port of Odessa and make it possible to export the Ukrainian grain blocked there.
“I proposed, in the discussion we had with [el jefe de gobierno alemán] Olaf Scholz last Saturday asked President Putin to take the initiative of a resolution in the United Nations to give a very clear framework to this operation”, he said after a European summit in Brussels.
Russia is currently imposing a blockade on Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, in particular Odessa, and some 20 million tons of grain stored in silos across the country are blocked.
“The decision depends on an agreement from Russia and the guarantees it offers: in the face of demining [del puerto de Odesa, serán necesarias] security guarantees provided to Ukrainians to prevent them from being attacked,” Macron said. The Ukrainian government needs “legitimate security guarantees, and it is the United Nations framework that will allow us to do so,” he added.
Macron highlighted the “important role of Turkey, given its responsibility in the Black Sea” and its contacts with Moscow. The European Commission has proposed establishing “priority routes” by road and rail, mobilizing the cargo capacities of the European Union to transport part of the cereal reserves blocked in Ukraine.
“We are working on this proposal from the Commission, and we discussed at the summit the different possibilities to find alternative routes, but it is complicated, for logistical reasons, and more expensive,” said the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.
These alternative routes by rail and road will allow, in the best of cases, to transport a third of the wheat stocks, a European official told AFP.