Thank you, Mr Chair,
Norway has aligned itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union. In my national capacity, though, I would like to make a few remarks.
Norway deplores Russia’s decision to not extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Russia’s war has already crippled Ukrainian grain exports and has put pressure on food prices worldwide. With this decision, Russia is further exacerbating the global food security crisis created by its war of aggression against Ukraine and its blockade of Ukrainian sea ports. The most recent reports on shelling of Ukrainian harbour cities including infrastructure necessary to continue grain exports testify to this.
Global hunger is unacceptable, and stable, predictable exports out of Ukraine are crucial to prevent it. The initiative must be respected and implemented. It aims to improve global food supplies, secure future harvests, calm markets, and lower prices for consumers everywhere. Keeping in mind the global benefits of the Initiative, we urge all parties to the Black Sea Grain Initiative to meet their responsibilities and continue the initiative.
Norway calls on Russia to cease illegally blocking Ukrainian sea ports and allow freedom of navigation on the Black Sea.