UK Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine

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Ukraine’s resilience and the support of its international partners will remain strong

21 November 2023

Thank you, President. I also thank Assistant Secretary-General Jenča and Mr Hollingsworth for their briefing.

Russia continues its relentless attacks on Ukraine’s ports and grain infrastructure. It is a deliberate attempt to strangle the Ukrainian economy, with total disregard for the impact on food. It follows Russia’s cynical withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, driving up global food prices and risking the lives of the world’s most vulnerable.

The cost of Russia’s war to global food supplies is staggering. In just one month, Russia destroyed over 280,000 tonnes of grain – enough to feed over a million people for a year. Agriculture production costs have increased, and landmines have reduced the land available to farm. In front-line oblasts, households involved in agricultural production have reduced by a quarter.

As well as its attack on food, Russia is repeating its strategy of attacking critical infrastructure in winter, attempting to break resolve by depriving the Ukrainian people of electricity, heat, water and vital medical services. Russia will not succeed.

Ukraine’s resilience and the support of its international partners will remain strong. The United Kingdom will continue to work with Ukraine and our partners to ensure Ukraine is able to export its grain. The ‘Unity Facility’, launched last week between Marsh McLennan’s UK division and the Ukrainian Government, will provide affordable shipping insurance for grain and other critical food supplies globally from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Ships are sailing and Ukraine’s grain is being exported.

This week, the UK hosted a Global Food Security Summit galvanising action to tackle the causes of food insecurity and malnutrition and unlock our diverse resources for a more resilient, food-secure future. We welcome Ukraine’s summit next week, which will drive support for the Grain from Ukraine initiative.

As my Foreign Secretary said in Ukraine last week, Russia thinks it can wait this war out and that the West will eventually turn its attention elsewhere. This could not be further from the truth. The UK and our partners will support Ukraine and its people for as long as it takes for them to achieve victory and a just peace.

I thank you.

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