Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday urged the UN to push the EU to lift its sanctions blocking Russian fertilizer exports to developing countries.
Speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan, Putin called out the EU for what he said was a discriminatory approach.
He pointed out that the bloc had eased restrictions on letting Russian fertilizers into Europe, but was unwilling to do the same for developing countries outside the continent.
“Taking this opportunity, I call on UN Under-Secretary-General (for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary) DiCarlo to demand that the European Commission remove discriminatory restrictions on the against developing countries,” Putin said.
As soon as this is done, Russia stands ready to provide 300,000 tons of fertilizer to developing countries free of charge, he added.
“Russia is also increasing its grain exports to world markets. This year it will be 30 million tonnes and next year 50 million tonnes, 90% of which is destined for the markets of Asia, Africa and Latin America,” he said.
Speaking of the SCO, Putin hailed the growing international position of the regional bloc.
He said that more than half of the world’s population lives in SCO member countries, a key factor for the organization’s immense potential.
The SCO continues to “develop steadily, increasing its role in solving international and regional problems, maintaining peace, security and stability in the vast Eurasian space”, Putin said.
“This is particularly important in the current difficult international situation,” he added.
Putin said global politics and economic structures have witnessed “irreversible fundamental transformations”.
This, he added, has led to an “increasing role of new centers of power, interacting with each other not on the basis of certain rules imposed from outside… but on the generally accepted principles of international rule of law and the Charter of the United Nations, guaranteeing equality and indivisible security, respect for sovereignty, national values and individual interests”.
The SCO operates in accordance with these principles, without any selfishness, which gives us vital opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation, he said.
Founded in 2001, the SCO currently has eight members: China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
It also has four observer countries – Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia – and six partner countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka.
The procedures for Iran’s full membership in the SCO are expected to be completed at the ongoing summit in Samarkand, while the process for Belarus’ membership in the bloc has been officially launched.
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