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BBC: US calls UN chief 'too accommodating' to Russia, intelligence leak suggests

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 13, 2023 11:15 PM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Leaked intelligence documents suggest the U.S. believed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "too accommodating" to Russia while trying to renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the BBC reported on April 13.

The UN and Turkey-brokered deal, first signed in July 2022, has been paramount in stopping global food prices from soaring. Ukraine's grain exports had been blocked by Russia in the first months of the full-scale invasion before the establishment of the deal.

On March 18, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced the extension of the grain deal, allowing Ukraine to export millions of tons of agricultural products through the Black Sea for 120 more days.

The news came after Russian officials repeatedly threatened to back out of the deal, saying they would renew the deal only if certain conditions were met and that they were "ready" to extend it for only 60 days.

According to the BBC, the documents show that Guterres was so committed to renewing the deal that his actions in February were allegedly close to "undermining broader efforts to hold Moscow accountable for its actions in Ukraine."

Guterres' office denied what is alleged in the documents, CNN reported on April 13.

"The Secretary-General has been at this job, and in the public eye, for a long time. He’s not surprised by the fact that people are spying on him and listening in on his private conversations," Guterres' office said, as quoted by CNN.

According to the statement, Guterres' private conversations were being "distorted."

The leak of U.S. military and intelligence documents was first spotted on the online media platform Discord. Following the leak, the Pentagon announced that it had launched an investigation into the source.

Agriculture Minister: Russia’s grain corridor sabotage could lead to higher food prices
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Russia’s blockage of Ukrainian seaports triggered a global food crisis. The global food crisis was partially resolved in July when an UN-backed grain deal was reached, forcing Russia to unblock three ports in Odesa Oblast for…

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