Fifty-six members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) expressed concern about the war in Ukraine, pledged to support Kyiv, and promised assistance, including in the post-war reconstruction of the country.

This is noted in the joint statement adopted at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva.

The signatories expressed concern about the consequences of the war for Ukraine and world trade, in particular the supply of a series of key Ukrainian goods to international markets, including agricultural and food products, fertilisers, sunflower oil, and important minerals.

“The impact of the war, including of the blockage of Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea, is seriously jeopardising food supply to some of the most vulnerable parts of the world, in developing countries. This risks pushing millions of people into food insecurity, adding to the already severe situation caused by COVID-19,” the document says.

The ministers declared their intention to support Ukraine and facilitate its exports. In addition, WTO members promised to help Ukrainian farmers, and provide humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians.

“We will seek to support Ukraine and to facilitate its exports. Within the capacity of each WTO Member, we will continue to provide humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of Ukrainian civilians, including to help secure their access to basic goods and services, including food. We will also look for ways to help Ukraine in its reconstruction as soon as circumstances permit,” the joint statement reads.

The signatories also expressed concern with numerous reports of grain being plundered by Russians from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

Bohdan Marusyak

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