French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that he and German Chancellor Olaf Scholes had called on Vladimir Putin to end Russia’s blockade of the Ukrainian port of Odessa on the condition of a UN resolution.
“I proposed, in our talks with Olaf Schulz last Saturday, to President Putin that we take the initiative for a resolution at the UN to give a very clear framework for this operation,” he announced after a European summit in Brussels.
Macron and Schulz called Putin on Saturday, and since then no one has mentioned the UN proposal, although diplomatic efforts are under way to remove the Russian threat to Odessa, Ukraine’s last major Black Sea port.
Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has effectively snatched its huge grain crop from the world market, increased food prices around the world and threatened to escalate the humanitarian emergency in Africa and the Middle East.
Ukrainian guards at the port have planted mines and the Russian navy is blocking cargo traffic in Ukraine.
Under Macron’s proposal, a UN resolution would create a framework where the port could be deactivated and grain shipments could resume.
Macron paid tribute to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for his role in finding a solution and said Russia was in “committed” talks with its Black Sea neighbor Turkey.
It has raised hopes that the situation could be resolved “next day, next week”, he said.
“The decision does not depend on us, but it does depend on an agreement from Russia – and a guarantee given by Russia – that, in the face of de-mining, which is essential – a security guarantee is provided to the Ukrainians from attacking them. Stop it, ”he added.
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