Resumption of grain exports from Ukraine is 'a matter of life and death', says Borrell

The resumption of grain exports from Ukraine is «a matter of life or death,” says Borrell

MISE À DAY

The resumption of grain exports from Ukraine is a “matter of life or death” and we “hope” that an agreement will be reached this week to unblock the port of Odessa, a said Monday the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell. 

“The lives of (…) tens of thousands of people depend on this agreement” being negotiated between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations, he explained on his arrival in Brussels for a meeting of EU foreign ministers to discuss the war in Ukraine.

< p>The draft agreement aims to bring out through the Black Sea some 20 million tonnes of grain blocked in Ukrainian silos because of the offensive led by Moscow. 

It should also facilitate exports grain and fertilizer companies, affected by Western sanctions hitting Russian logistics and financial chains.

Russia has announced an “outcome document” for a meeting hosted by Turkey this week.

The European Union intends to continue its pressure on Moscow with new sanctions as well as financial and military support for Ukraine, announced Josep Borrell.

“Some European leaders have said that the sanctions are a error, fault. I don't think it's a mistake, that's what we have to do, and we will continue to do it,” he said in response to a statement by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The latter had denounced the sanctions on Friday, seeing them as “an error” because “they did not achieve their goal, and even had the opposite effect”. “The European economy has shot itself in the lungs and is asphyxiated,” he said in a speech.

The European Commission presented new measures on Friday, including an embargo on purchases gold to Russia.

The ministers must also decide on the release of a fifth tranche of 500 million euros from the “European Peace Facility” to finance military equipment and weapons supplied to Ukraine.