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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Meeting on the Black Sea Grain Initiative

2022-10-31 22:47

Mr. President,

I thank Under-Secretary-General Griffiths and Secretary-General Grynspan for their briefings. 

The Black Sea Grain Initiative is an important food export arrangement reached through repeated consultations between the UN, Russia and Ukraine. Since the signing of the agreement nearly four months ago, more than 9.5 million tons of Ukrainian food products have been shipped around the world on more than 400 ships, playing a positive role in curbing the rise of global food prices. As Secretary-General Guterres has said, the Initiative is a “beacon on the Black Sea”, bringing a ray of hope to millions of people who are suffering from the food crisis. 

It’s not easy to open a food export route in the war zone, which requires the parties to maintain political input, strengthen communication and coordination, strictly implement the provisions of the agreement, and jointly cope with the difficulties and challenges that arise in its implementation. China has taken note of Russia's recent announcement that it has decided to suspend its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative due to the attacks on the Russian Black Sea Fleet and civilian vessels in Sevastopol, as well as the response of Ukraine, the UN and other relevant parties. We hope that parties concerned continue to stay in communication, rebuild mutual trust, and find a solution that meets the concerns of all parties. We also hope that the Secretary-General will continue to play an active role in this regard. 

Russia's grain and fertilizer exports are equally important to the international market, and the Memorandum signed between Russia and the UN should likewise be effectively implemented. As Secretary-General Guterres has repeatedly pointed out that this year's food crisis is primarily a distribution crisis caused by high food prices. But if fertilizer exports do not restore, next year, we shall be facing a supply crisis caused by food shortages, which will be even more severe. The countries concerned must face up to and eliminate the negative impact of the all-round, non-discriminated sanctions on normal international trade, take concrete measures to solve the real obstacles facing Russia’s grain and fertilizer exports, and completely abandon the wrong approach of politicizing and weaponizing economic and trade issues. 

Mr. President,

Compounded by conflict and sanctions, the negative spillover effect of the Ukraine crisis has spread across the globe. Countries around the world have all felt the colossal impact with vulnerable developing countries in a particularly difficult situation. A prolonged, expanded and complicated conflict serves no one's interest. We must work hard to overcome differences, fully pursue cooperation and make concrete efforts to manage the crisis and control its spillover effects. 

Dialogue and negotiation are the only realistic way out of the Ukraine crisis. Cold War mentality, bloc politics, division and confrontation, isolation and suppression will not bring peace. China has noted the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov publicly stated to the media on October 30 that Russia is ready to engage in dialogue with Western countries so as to ease tensions. We hope that relevant parties will respond positively, meet each other halfway, and open the door to dialogue and negotiation as soon as possible. China has been actively promoting peace talks and will continue to play a constructive role in resolving the Ukraine crisis and safeguarding world peace and stability. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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