The decision by the Russian Federation to terminate the Black Sea Grain Initiative will strike a blow to people in need everywhere, a senior United Nations official warned the Security Council today, emphasizing that in addition to causing unconscionable death and destruction, the war in Ukraine has greatly diminished the international community’s ability to face an uncertain future.
Briefing the Council, Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said that the Black Sea Grain Initiative had enabled the safe export of some 33 million metric tons of foodstuffs from three Ukrainian ports, helping to relieve hunger in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and Yemen. Moscow’s decision to suspend the deal will not deter the Organization’s efforts to facilitate the unimpeded access to global markets for food products and fertilizer from both Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
In the 500 days since the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine, 9,287 civilians have been killed and 16,384 injured, most under Russian armed forces fire, she continued. Ukraine was the country with the highest number of children killed and maimed in 2022. And the attacks continue. On 27 June, Russian missiles hit Kramatorsk, reportedly killing 11 people, including 14-year-old twin sisters. On 6 July, bombardments hit Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv, which are far from the front lines. On 8 July, Russian shelling reportedly killed at least eight civilians in Lyman. Civilians in areas under Russian control face mortal danger too. On 9 July, four civilians were killed in Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhia region.
“For the sake of the Ukrainian people and for the sake of our global community, this senseless, unjustified war must stop,” she stressed, expressing deep concern that in recent days, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had heard a series of explosions apparently taking place some distance away from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. This is a stark reminder of potential nuclear security risks facing the facility during the military conflict.
Dmytro Kuleba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, noting that today marks nine years since the Russian Federation shot down the civilian airliner MH17 over his country, killing all 298 people on board, said the case of MH17 is another prime example of Russian lies and abuse of its illegal presence at the Security Council. Instead of admitting guilt and cooperating with the investigation, it chose to promote conspiracy theories to confuse the public. Noting that the Dutch court put an end to all the Russian nonsense, he stressed that no amount of lies can change the truth and avert justice. “In any situation, [the] Russian strategy is kill, lie and deny. Our strategy should be the opposite — strength, truth and accountability,” he underscored. With its killing of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Moscow is blackmailing the world, affecting millions of Ukrainians and tens of millions more around the globe.