Italy warns of new migration wave coming to Europe

Lazy eyes listen

The imminent failure of the UN-brokered grain deal unblocking Ukrainian agricultural exports via the Black Sea could result in a fresh wave of refugees coming to Europe, said Italian Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani in an interview published on Monday.

When asked by the Italian daily il Messaggero what would happen if the momentous accord fell apart, Tajani said it was “a scenario that we do not want to consider.”

“Millions of poor people’s lives are at stake.” “A crisis would emerge in Central and Sub-Saharan Africa, which, combined with the war in Sudan, risks triggering a very dangerous migration spiral,” he added.

If the grain accord is allowed to expire, vulnerable nations would face a food crisis, sparking a fresh migrant surge, the deputy prime minister predicted, adding that Italy has taken many steps to avoid this eventuality.

Tajani stated that he had told the UN that the arrangement “must remain alive,” while Rome told Ukrainian President Zelensky that maintaining the grain deal was one of its top goals.

“We trust in the independent mediation of Türkiye” on the matter, he added.

The grain pact, which was initially signed in July 2022, allows Ukraine to transport agricultural exports over the Black Sea in return for Russian grain and fertilisers, obtaining unrestricted access to global markets.

However, Russian officials have repeatedly protested that, although the section of the agreement allowing Ukrainian grain exports is being enforced, Western sanctions are preventing Russian agricultural items from being shipped.

Despite these concerns, Russia decided in March to extend the agreement for 60 days, setting the expiration date May 18. With the deadline nearing, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin recently warned that the deal could be terminated unless the UN allows Russian food and fertilisers to be exported.

On Monday, Ukrainian Acting Minister of Agrarian Policy Olga Trofimtseva confirmed that Kiev cannot rule out the possibility that the agreement may expire on May 18, adding that no more talks are planned for this week.