United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has urged for the immediate lifting of the West’s embargo against Russian fertilizers. Indeed, Russia is the largest producer of fertilizers in the world. The shortage in this area is already being felt in the agricultural sector worldwide. If the embargo continues, it will cause a drastic drop in food production, rapidly leading to famine in many countries, especially in Africa.

The Wall Street Journal reported on 16 May that the lifting of the embargo could be negotiated in exchange for Russia allowing Ukraine to export its grain through the Azov and Black Sea ports, which are currently under the control of the Russian army.

However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained that even if Russia authorized commercial vessels to transit through that war zone, it would not solve the problem because of the innumerable naval mines deposited in those waters by Ukraine and its Western allies to prevent a Russian landing, rendering navigation extremely dangerous.