US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) poses with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov before a meeting at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland on May 19, 2021, on the sidelines of the Arctic Council Ministerial summit. (SAUL LOEB / POOL PHOTO VIA AP)
MOSCOW/ UNITED NATIONS / KYIV – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the situation in Ukraine during a phone conversation on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Lavrov outlined Russia's principled approaches in light of the ongoing special military operation, stressing that its goals and objectives will be achieved, the statement reads.
Escalatory rhetoric from any side, including about expanding the conflict geographically or denying Ukraine's statehood, is not consistent with the constructive spirit demonstrated in Istanbul.
Rosemary DiCarlo, UN under-secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs
They also discussed global food security and problems of bilateral relations, the statement said.
‘Bleak prospects’ for ending Russia-Ukraine conflict
Rosemary DiCarlo, UN under-secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs, said on Friday that the Russia-Ukraine conflict shows no signs of ending, despite an "encouraging" grain deal.
Ambassadors were briefed by the UN political affairs chief, who pointed to the recent agreement on the safe resumption of grain exports via the Black Sea as a bright light in the conflict, though acknowledging the dim prospects for peace.
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"The grain agreement is a sign that dialogue between the parties is possible in the search to ease human suffering," said DiCarlo.
She added that the United Nations is making every effort to support implementation of the deal, which was signed last week in Türkiye.
"Despite the encouraging developments on grain and fertilizers, we remain deeply concerned about the lack of prospects for a shift towards a meaningful resumption of diplomatic efforts to end the war," she told the Security Council.
A woman pushes her bike pasts buildings destroyed in bombardment, in the Ukrainian town of Borodianka, in the Kyiv region on April 17, 2022.
(SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP)
"Escalatory rhetoric from any side, including about expanding the conflict geographically or denying Ukraine's statehood, is not consistent with the constructive spirit demonstrated in Istanbul," she said.
Ukraine 2022 GDP to plunge over 30%
On Friday, the National Bank of Ukraine said the nation's gross domestic product will drop by 33.4 percent this year amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The inflation rate in Ukraine is expected to reach 31 percent at the end of 2022 compared with 10 percent in the previous year, according to the nation's central bank
The present military conflict, the loss of lives and the population outflow from the country are the main factors behind the decline, the bank said on Facebook.
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In its baseline forecast, the bank said that Ukraine's nominal GDP will shrink from 5.46 trillion hryvnias (about $149.3 billion) in 2021 to 4.54 trillion hryvnias in 2022.
In the third quarter of 2022, Ukraine's economy is expected to drop 37.5 percent year-on-year after falling 15.1 percent and 39.3 percent in the first and second quarters respectively, the bank said.
The inflation rate in Ukraine is expected to reach 31 percent at the end of 2022 compared with 10 percent in the previous year, it said.
At the same time, the bank projected that the Ukrainian economy will return to growth in 2023, with GDP increasing by 5.5 percent.
Ukraine's GDP rose 3.4 percent in 2021 following a 4-percent contraction in 2020, the country's central bank reported in May.