14:25 02.06.2022

Yermak calls on Gulf countries to join solution of global energy and food crisis

6 min read
Yermak calls on Gulf countries to join solution of global energy and food crisis

Head of the President’s Office of Ukraine Andriy Yermak has appealed to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member countries of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf to support Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression and to help resolve the global energy and food crisis caused by the war.

"We hope that the Gulf states will play an active role in resolving the current global food and energy crisis, which Russia is using as instruments of war and pressure on the international community. It is time for decisive action and confident steps. Yesterday, the EU agreed on a sixth sanctions "oil" package against Russia. This is an opportunity for the Gulf countries, for the benefit of themselves, to help the West overcome its energy dependence on Russia. Ukraine is also interested in long-term and effective solutions in this area," Yermak said in an address published by the press service of the President of Ukraine.

In this regard, Yermak proposed several initiatives aimed at deepening cooperation in these issues.

"First of all, I would like to propose the establishment of a special Advisory Council under the auspices of the Head of the Office of the President and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for your region. I would be happy to see foreign ministers as well as people with powers similar to mine there. This council could be a useful platform for discussing pressing issues such as grain supplies and energy security. But not only. I think it would be appropriate to use this forum to address issues that affect the interests of the GCC and their allies," he proposed.

To this end, Yermak clarified, within a week or two, the candidacy of a special representative may be agreed upon to discuss organizational issues, in particular the mandate of the Council, and its secretariat may be created.

"Together, we can find ways to prevent the humanitarian catastrophe that can be caused by the food crisis. It bears reminding that a number of Islamic countries in Africa and South Asia are already at risk, " he reminded.

He also called on the Gulf countries to join the international sanctions pressure on the Russian Federation.

"The application of international economic sanctions is absolutely necessary. Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is blocking all legally binding decisions, despite the unanimous international condemnation of its illegal invasion. Economic pressure must deprive Russia of the financial, technical and technological resources to wage this war, as well as subsequent aggressive wars," Yermak said.

"I personally coordinate the work of the Yermak-McFaul international expert group aimed at strengthening sanctions against Russia. The goals of our Sanctions Action Plan include a total ban on Russian energy exports, the expansion of sanctions against the financial sectors of Russia and Belarus, the strengthening of transport and insurance sanctions, the expansion and strengthening of trade embargoes and personal sanctions. We call on the Gulf Cooperation Council to join the sanctions regime against the Russian Federation and in no way assist Russia and certain members of its authorities in avoiding existing restrictions," he urged.

Separately, he also highlighted the information exchange between Ukraine and Arab countries.

"Ukraine wants to become more open and understandable to the Arab world. Therefore, we are ready to facilitate the opening of offices of Arab state television companies in our country. We will provide them with an adequate level of security. In our opinion, Europe is too self-centered, so Ukraine offers the Arab world to work together to expand its horizons. In particular, through the tools of soft power provided by television, " the head of the President’s Office said.

He also called on the Red Crescent to organize a representation in Ukraine at the same level as the Red Cross.

"Another proposal concerns finance. Ukraine is preparing to launch the National Sovereign Fund. The agricultural industry and land banks should become its leading assets. We offer your sovereign national investment funds cooperation in this and other areas, " Yermak added.

In addition, he pointed out, the Ukrainian side, together with former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has created an advisory group that will provide proposals on security guarantees for Ukraine.

"We invite leading figures in security, politics and diplomacy from your countries to join this group. The criminal aggression of a permanent member of the UN Security Council has shown that the world needs a radical update of the international security system. President Zelenskyy's idea is to start building the foundations for a new world order based on the system of security guarantees for Ukraine. I am convinced that the Arab world should play a leading role in this process," Yermak stressed.

In addition, he pointed out, Ukraine is interested in future economic cooperation during the post-war recovery period, and can offer a wide space for investment.

"Thanks to the unwavering determination of the Ukrainian nation, military prowess and assistance from friendly countries, Ukraine will definitely win. It will become a regional leader in Eastern Europe. Russia has one prospect - a gradual decline. Ukraine, on the contrary, will develop rapidly. Please think about your own economic interests. After our victory, Ukraine will become the world's largest construction site. And we invite you to join this process. I am confident that we will not just continue our joint projects, but expand our cooperation as much as possible. Including in the field of agriculture, transport, tourism, defense, IT," Yermak explained.

"Today, we call on the Gulf states to provide us with financial assistance to strengthen our resilience. And immediately after the war - we offer you to take part in the reconstruction of our country. We invite you to join large-scale infrastructure, transport and humanitarian projects that will affect the future of the entire continent. We know that the leadership of your countries demonstrates wisdom and focus on strategic perspectives," he concluded.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a regional organization comprising six Arab countries: Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Saudi Arabia.