WSJ learned about US plans to lift sanctions from Minsk in exchange for grain transit

Washington may temporarily lift sanctions on Belarusian potash fertilizers if the country allows Ukrainian grain to be exported to Latvia, WSJ sources say. Earlier, the newspaper reported that the UN Secretary General offered Moscow a similar deal “WSJ learned about the US plans to lift sanctions from Minsk in exchange for the transit of grain” />

The US authorities are considering the possibility of lifting restrictive measures imposed against potash fertilizers produced in Belarus if the official Minsk agrees to the transit of Ukrainian grain through the territory Belarus, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing informed sources.

The interlocutors of the publication clarified that these sanctions could be lifted for six months, if the Belarusian authorities agree, grain crops will be delivered by rail to the port of the Lithuanian city of Klaipeda .

Earlier, WSJ diplomatic sources reported a similar proposal by UN Secretary General António Guterres. According to sources, he urged Moscow to ease export restrictions on fertilizers from Russia and Belarus in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukraine.

Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya then called the publication “a free interpretation.” The diplomat said that during his visit to Russia at the end of April, Guterres did discuss the lifting of sanctions against potash fertilizers, but without reference to the situation with grain. “This issue was indeed raised by Guterres, but not in terms of exchanging one for the other,” — claimed Nebenzya.

The American authorities believe that about 20 million tons of grain have accumulated in Ukraine, which are difficult to take out of the country. The UN World Food Program estimates the volume of grain at 25 million tons, indicating that this situation has developed due to the “blocked ports of the Black Sea”; and infrastructure problems. “We are studying ways to bring this grain back to the world market and thereby achieve lower prices,” — US President Joe Biden announced in mid-May.

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