| 5 December 2023, Tuesday |

Zelenskiy wants NATO-Ukraine Council to meet over Black Sea grain issue

Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, stated on Saturday that he had requested that the NATO Secretary-General convene a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council to examine security in the Black Sea, particularly the operation of a corridor for Ukrainian grain exports.

Russia withdrew from the United Nations-backed grain corridor agreement this week, claiming that Western countries had neglected its requests to secure Moscow’s food and fertilizer exports. Ships bound for Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, according to Russia, could be deemed military targets.

In his nightly video address, Zelenskiy said he had asked NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a telephone call to convene the council, which was set up at this month’s NATO summit.

“In our cooperation, we have moved to a new, more advanced level, the NATO-Ukraine Council, and this mechanism can have an impact,” Zelenskiy said.

“I proposed to Jens that the council be convened without delay for relevant crisis consultations. The meeting will take place in the coming days. We can overcome the security crisis in the Black Sea.”

There was no immediate indication whether NATO had agreed to such a proposal.

The United Nations’ aid chief told the U.N. Security Council on Friday that a spike in grain prices since Russia quit the deal “potentially threatens hunger and worse for millions of people.”

  • Reuters