French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday that he had proposed to Vladimir Putin the vote of a resolution at the UN to lift the Russian blockade of the port of Odessa in order to allow the export of Ukrainian cereals which are blocked there.
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"I proposed, in the discussion we had with (German Chancellor) Olaf Scholz last Saturday, to President Putin that we take the initiative of a resolution at the United Nations to give a very clear framework to this operation" , he declared after a European summit in Brussels.
While Russia imposes a blockade on Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, in particular the port of Odessa, Ukraine is desperate to export the approximately 20 million tonnes of grain stored in the country's silos from here. the next harvests this summer which will in turn need to be stored.
"The decision depends on an agreement from Russia and the guarantees it provides: in the face of mine clearance (of the port of Odessa) which is essential so that bulk carriers and ships can be routed and take these cereals (we need) security guarantees provided to Ukrainians to prevent them from being attacked,” Macron insisted.
kyiv needs "legitimate security guarantees, it is the United Nations framework that will allow us to do this", added the French president, while also underlining "the very important role of Turkey, given its responsibility in the Black Sea" and his recent exchanges with Moscow.
"There is no question that under cover of a maritime corridor for humanitarian reasons, there is a weakening of the security situation in Ukraine", added Charles Michel, President of the Council (body representing the Member States).
In the immediate future, the European Commission has also proposed to set up "priority routes" by road and rail, by mobilizing the freight capacities of the EU, to transport part of the blocked cereal stocks.
“We are working on this Commission proposal, and discussed at the summit the various possibilities for finding alternative routes, but it is complicated, for logistical reasons, and it is more expensive,” said Michel. .
These alternative routes by train and by road will at best make it possible to transport a third of the wheat stocks, a European official told AFP.