Reuters: UN wants to broker Russian ammonia transit to ‘improve’ Black Sea grain deal
The United Nations has proposed that Kyiv, Moscow, and Ankara start preparatory work for the transit of Russian ammonia through Ukraine to salvage the Black Sea grain exports, a source close to the talks told Reuters news agency.
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Per the source, the UN wants parallel talks to be held on widening the Black Sea deal that was agreed last July to include more Ukrainian ports and other cargoes.
The UN has handed "an official appeal to the leaders of Ukraine, Turkey and Russia with a proposal for a specific mutually beneficial algorithm to radically improve" the work of the grain corridor, the source told Reuters.
“Ukraine and Turkey have confirmed their readiness to work on the algorithm proposed by the Secretary General. At the same time, as of May 30, Russia has not given its consent, despite the presence of favourable positions in the algorithm.”
UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, asked about the Reuters report at a daily press briefing, said conversations were continuing.
Russian ammonia, the main ingredient in the production of nitrate fertilisers, used to be transited through Ukraine via the Togliatti-Odesa pipeline, which Ukraine halted since the start of the full-scale invasion.
Before 2022, Russia accounted for 20 percent of global ammonia exports.
Ukraine’s deputy infrastructure minister Yuriy Vaskov earlier said the Blac Sea grain deal “does not contain a single word about the ammonia pipeline.”
“It was only about the export of existing ammonia. At that time, there were 40,000 tonnes of it. Not a word about the pipeline, not a word about transit,” he told a conference on Monday.
Technically, the ammonia pipeline is ready to pump 100,000 tonnes per month, and it will take 30 days to launch.
Kyiv may allow the transit of Russian ammonia through Ukrainian territory if it receives guarantees from Russia and the UN that grain exports will continue unhindered, Reuters quoted Mr Vaskov as saying.
The reopening of the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline is one of Russia's demands for extending the grain deal.