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20 May 2022, 09:59

Belarus' ambassador to UN: The West uses Ukraine events as a pretext for sanctions

Valentin Rybakov. An archive photo
Valentin Rybakov. An archive photo

MINSK, 20 May (BelTA) – Western countries are using the events in Ukraine as a pretext to introduce new unilateral sanctions, Belarus' Permanent Representative to the UN Valentin Rybakov made the statement as he addressed the Security Council debate on conflict and food security, BelTA informs.

“We regret that even in the current conditions some are busy looking for reasons and pretexts for imposing new sanctions. They are trying to present the conflict in Ukraine as the source of all human ills forgetting about numerous conflicts in other regions of the world,” Valentin Rybakov said.

He emphasized that the West imposed sanctions against Belarus long before the events in Ukraine, as it did not like the results of Belarus' presidential election and said that the sanctions were requested by the people of Belarus. “They tried to make others believe that the sanctions would bring freedom to the people of Belarus, that the sanctions are freedom, that the sanctions set you free,” he said.

“We have heard something like this before, however, the word ‘work' was used instead of the word ‘sanctions'. Work sets you free. I am sure that people in attendance still remember this slogan written at the entrance to Nazi concentration camps. We will never forget it either,” Valentin Rybakov said.

The UN secretary-general, as well as reputable international organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, all speak with one voice about the detrimental impact of unilateral restrictive measures and sanctions on international food security. Back in November 2021, the World Bank reported about the negative effects of the sanctions imposed by the EU, the USA, the UK and Canada on Belarusian potash fertilizers.

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko repeatedly warned the global community about the dangers of imposing sanctions against the Belarusian potash industry and food products. These warnings were conveyed by the Belarusian head of state to the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.

“Yet, the authors of such sanctions were not ready to listen and are not listening now to international institutions, or experts, or representatives of countries where hunger and malnutrition are looming. As a result, according to the World Bank, the agricultural price index increased by 43% by May 2022 compared to last year, and each additional percentage point of food price growth will drive an additional 10 million people into extreme poverty. Today, the UN secretary- general pointed to the price increases of up to 30% for staple foods, threatening people in countries across Africa and the Middle East,” Valentin Rybakov said.

According to him, it is high time for the authors of unilateral restrictions to seriously think over their policy, to consider making it more flexible, abandoning political prejudices. It is not too late to make the right decisions, the permanent representative of Belarus to the UN noted.

“We agree with the call of the UN secretary-general to reintegrate the food and fertilizer production of Belarus into world markets. This will be an important step towards ensuring international food security. For its part, Belarus is ready to work with all interested parties and consider any constructive proposals without political prejudices,” said Valentin Rybakov.

Belarus will keep doing everything possible to maintain the dialogue initiated by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in order to end the conflict in Ukraine as soon as possible. Belarus is ready to contribute to global food security, Valentin Rybakov added. He once again called on the authors of the sanctions to hear the voice of the international community and stop using this destructive mechanism.

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