Romania discusses contentious passage of Ukrainian grains through Black Sea

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, received, on Sunday, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Kitack Lim, the discussions aimed at the impact of the aggression of the Russian Federation regarding grain exports from Ukraine by sea, which affects the security global food supply, as well as freedom of navigation in the Black Sea, reports ACT Media.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two officials discussed the stage of implementation of the Agreement on Grains in Ukraine – Black Sea Grain Initiative, concluded in Istanbul on July 22, 2022, as a result of the acceptance by Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Turkey of the plan in this sense of the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres.

Minister Bogdan Aurescu reaffirmed the importance of implementing this agreement according to the commitments assumed by the parties, mentioning the need to ensure safe maritime transport in the Black Sea, without which food security on a global scale is threatened, the cited source states.

At the same time, the head of Romanian diplomacy drew attention to the importance of ensuring the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea and the safety of maritime transport, „including through the action of the international community, in the context of the extensive restrictive measures introduced unilaterally by the Russian Federation under the pretext of military actions and the presence of sea mines”.

Bogdan Aurescu reaffirmed the support provided by Romania to Ukraine „in the context of the unjustified, unprovoked and illegal aggression of Russia against the neighboring state”, noting that it is centered on the humanitarian aid provided to the more than 2.1 million Ukrainian refugees who entered our country and on measures to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports.

Minister Aurescu presented the steps taken by the Romanian authorities to facilitate the transport and transit of Ukrainian grains to international markets, including through the Romanian ports on the Danube and Constanta Port on the Black Sea, emphasizing that, in recent months, over 3.4 million tons of grain from Ukraine were shipped through Romania to the whole world.

He gave assurances that „our country will remain committed, together with European and global partners, to play an important role in facilitating grain exports from Ukraine, to ensure global food security”.

Also, the Romanian foreign minister presented Romania’s efforts to promote connectivity in the Black Sea region, mentioning, among other things, the steps taken in recent years to create a freight transport corridor between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, with the involvement of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan , respectively to create a direct connection between the Georgian ports and the Port of Constanta.

Aurescu emphasized „the profoundly negative impact of the prolonged conflicts in the region and the illegal and illegitimate war of Russia against Ukraine on the efforts to develop the economy of the Black Sea region and to value its exceptional economic potential”.

„At the same time, Minister Bogdan Aurescu presented, in his capacity as a member of the UN Commission on International Law and co-chairman of the Study Group of this UN body regarding Sea-Level Rise in relation to International Law relationship with international law), the status of work on this subject and discussed with the Secretary General of the IMO the potential for cooperation with the UN Commission on International Law on issues of common interest related to this important subject for a large number of UN member states”, MAE specifies.

In turn, General Secretary Kitack Lim expressed his appreciation for the efforts undertaken by Romania to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports, in the context of Russian aggression on the neighboring state, and for the manner of managing this complex situation, MAE states.

The IMO official encouraged Romania to continue its active involvement in these efforts, underlining the strategic position of our country at the Black Sea, with an important role in facilitating maritime security and for the continuation of grain exports from Ukraine.

He also emphasized the economic potential of the Black Sea, including in the field of tourism.

According to the MAE, „the Secretary General of the IMO appreciated the efforts of the UN Commission on International Law and its Study Group, co-chaired by Minister Aurescu, on the subject of Sea-Level Rise in relation to International Law, expressing the availability of cooperation on the topics of common interest with the International Maritime Organization, which already has on its agenda aspects that refer to the impact of climate change (the rise in the level of the seas and oceans being a direct effect of them) on the seas and oceans”.

The Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization will pay a visit to the Port of Constanta, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlights.


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