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 termed a discriminatory approach.
He pointed out that the bloc had eased curbs to let in Russian fertilizers to Europe, but was unwilling to do the same for developing countries outside the continent.
“Using the opportunity, I ask UN Under-Secretary-General (for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary) DiCarlo to … demand from the European Commission that they remove discriminatory restrictions against developing countries,” Putin said.
As soon as that is done, Russia stands ready to provide 300,000 tons of fertilizers to developing countries free of charge, he added.
“Russia is also increasing grain exports to world markets. This year, it will be 30 million tons and next year 50 million tons, 90% of which goes to markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America,” he said.
Speaking about the SCO, Putin hailed the regional bloc’s growing international standing.
He said 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, in maintaining peace, security and stability throughout the vast Eurasian space,” said Putin.
“This is especially 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 some externally imposed rules … but on generally recognized principles of the rule of international law and the UN Charter, ensuring equal and indivisible security, respect for sovereignty, national values and interests of each other.”
The SCO functions in line with these principles, without any egoism, 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, Türkiye, and Sri Lanka.
Procedures for Iran’s full SCO membership are expected to be completed during the ongoing summit in Samarkand, while the process for Belarus to join the bloc has been formally started.