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Guterres warns from kyiv of the "critical importance" of extending the agreement to export cereals

The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has warned of the "critical importance" that Ukraine and Russia have to approve a new extension of the agreement to export cereals through the Black Sea, a key tool to guarantee food security worldwide.

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Guterres warns from kyiv of the "critical importance" of extending the agreement to export cereals

The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has warned of the "critical importance" that Ukraine and Russia have to approve a new extension of the agreement to export cereals through the Black Sea, a key tool to guarantee food security worldwide. .

Guterres, visiting Kiev, recalled that the initiative agreed in July 2022 has so far allowed the export of 23 million tons of grain, which favors the reduction of international prices and guarantees supply, especially in some of the poorest areas of the planet.

"Exports (...) are essential," he stressed in statements to the media after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski. It is the third visit to Ukraine by the head of the UN since the start of the Russian offensive, just over a year ago.

Zelenski has also advocated the extension of the agreement beyond March 18, since it is "extremely important for the whole world", and has even advocated "strengthening" this initiative. The 'grain agreement' is one of the few tangible agreements between kyiv and Moscow since the outbreak of the conflict.

On the war, the position of the United Nations is "clear", as Guterres has emphasized: "The invasion is a violation of the Charter of the United Nations and International Law." "Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity must be respected," he added.

For his part, the Ukrainian president has defended that his country is the one who is defending the principles of said letter. "It is in Ukraine where the future of the UN and the role of the United Nations are being decided," he explained at a joint press conference.

Zelenski, a supporter of creating a court to judge Russian crimes, has thanked Guterres for his "clear condemnation" of "Russian aggression" and trusts his help to continue moving towards peace.

Until there is a "just peace", Guterres has advocated "mitigating the impact" of the conflict, which involves caring for the civilian population and also guaranteeing the security of strategic infrastructures and facilities, such as nuclear ones.

Thus, he sees it as "vital" to protect the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, considered the largest in Europe, facilities that, according to Zelenski, must once again be "under full Ukrainian control." "It is a matter of global security, not just a Ukrainian one," stressed the president.

SENTENCE FOR THE EXECUTION OF A SOLDIER

The UN offers to mediate to achieve the "full demilitarization" of said plant, controlled by Russian forces, as well as to collaborate to advance other gestures of détente between the parties, such as the exchange of prisoners.

In this sense, Zelensky has called to "bring home all citizens", including children kidnapped "on a large scale" by Russian forces in the occupied territories.

For Guterres, "the shocking images of an apparently executed Ukrainian soldier are another tragic reminder that the laws of war must be strictly respected," alluding to the video released this week and which, according to Kiev, corresponds to a missing soldier. in eastern Ukraine in early February.