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    Sovereign Decisions and Hunger Relief: US Stance on Ukrainian Grain Exports

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    In a recent statement, the spokesperson for the National Security Council, John Kirby, underscored the significance of respecting sovereign decisions made by countries, including Poland and others, regarding the import of Ukrainian grain to their internal markets. Kirby emphasized that it would be hypocritical for the United States to impose changes on these decisions.

    “Ukraine’s grain exports are of crucial importance to addressing hunger and alleviating suffering in the most vulnerable countries. However, these nations are making sovereign decisions in the best interests of their populations,” Kirby stated during a press briefing in New York.

    Kirby acknowledged the concerns of European partners regarding Ukrainian grain imports but reiterated the principle of sovereignty enshrined in the United Nations Charter. He emphasized that it would be hypocritical for the United States to force changes to the sovereign decisions made by these countries.

    “These countries are doing what they believe is in the best interest of their people,” Kirby added.

    While respecting sovereignty, the White House representative noted that the United States sees Ukrainian grain as a potential solution to global hunger and suffering. Consequently, Washington is keen on reviving the Black Sea Grain Initiative and facilitating the export of Ukrainian food through the Black Sea.

    Kirby announced that during President Biden’s address at the UN General Assembly, scheduled for the following day, Biden would call for reforms in the Security Council. The aim is to add new permanent members to the Council, ensuring that this pivotal UN body reflects the perspectives of Global South countries.

    When asked whether the United States is prepared to support reforms that limit the veto power of permanent Security Council members, given Russia’s disregard for basic UN principles, Kirby responded, “The President’s priority is to make the Council larger and more inclusive.”

    Regarding Russia’s actions, Kirby noted that Russia could simplify matters for everyone by simply withdrawing its troops from Ukraine and abiding by the United Nations Charter, to which it has committed. This includes adhering to resolutions, such as the arms transfer ban to and from North Korea.

    Furthermore, Kirby addressed the recent meeting between President Biden’s advisor, Jake Sullivan, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Malta. He stated that there are no indications of China sending weapons to support Russia’s aggression. Kirby emphasized that such a move would not be in China’s interest, and the situation would continue to be monitored closely.

    In conclusion, the United States maintains a stance of respecting sovereign decisions regarding Ukrainian grain exports. However, it remains committed to advocating for the use of Ukrainian grain to combat global hunger through initiatives like the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

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