UN Secretary General António Guterres' reported overtures to Russia, aimed at encouraging that country to reenter a grain agreement which permitted safe passage to Ukrainian ships carrying such cargoes across the Black Sea, lose sight of who is responsible for the current conflict, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) says.
The minister says Estonia also backs calls by Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to intensify and broaden the scope of the existing sanctions on Russia, in an official statement published Saturday which follows in its entirety.
In light of the letter by the Secretary-General of the UN, it is very important to stress that Russia alone is responsible for the war against Ukraine. Russia is continuing its attacks against Ukraine's civilian infrastructure, harming civilians and damaging residential buildings, and carrying out illegitimate local elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
Estonia is strongly and unanimously supporting the call by President Zelenskyy to ramp up sanctions against Russia.
During the high-level opening week of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in mid-September, Estonia's main objective is to keep the spotlight on Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and call for stronger support to Ukraine. This week offers a chance to raise issues Estonia considers important.
Estonia's message is clear: making concessions to an aggressor only expands the aggression instead of ending it.
We should not forget that Russia and Russia alone is to blame for the war against #Ukraine.— Margus Tsahkna (@Tsahkna) September 8, 2023
In the light of recent attacks against Ukraine, #Estonia fully supports President @ZelenskyyUa's call to further strengthen punitive measures against Russia.
In an article titled "Uno will Putin-Erpressung nachgeben" ("The UN wants to give in to Putin's blackmailing"), German tabloid Bild reported that UN Secretary-General Guterres' letter to Lavrov had come up with four conditions for restoring the grain deal which Russia itself exited in the summer.
These would be, Bild reports: Connecting the Russian Agricultural Bank to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) international banking transactions network, insuring Russian shipping against Ukrainian strikes, returning Russian funds frozen by the EU, and allowing Russian ships to put into German ports.
⚡️UN Secretary-General António #Guterres has sent a letter to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey #Lavrov, with four proposals in exchange for the restoration of the #GrainDeal, Bild reported.— KyivPost (@KyivPost) September 8, 2023
According to the publication, Guterres proposes connecting the Russian… pic.twitter.com/YjlItwxkCr
Russia unilaterally exited the Turkey-brokered grain agreement, set up in 2022 and which allowed civilian Ukrainian freighter safe passage to export grain, much of which goes to the developing world. Leaving the agreement meant Russia, itself also a major grain exporter, could potentially view any Ukrainian ship in the formerly safe zone as a potential military target.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Ministry of Forest Affairs