Ukraine and Russia sign food crisis deal to restart grain exports


Russia and Ukraine today signed separate agreements in Istanbul with Turkey and the United Nations that would permit Russia to export grain and fertilisers and Ukraine to resume grain shipments to international markets, respectively. This ended a standoff that threatened global food security while the two nations are at war in Ukraine.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, the infrastructure minister for Ukraine, Hulusi Akar, the defence minister for Turkey, and Antonio Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, all signed the paper.

The agreement to reopen Ukraine’s Black Sea ports will free up millions of tonnes of grain that have been trapped in Ukrainian ports since Russia invaded on February 24. This will alleviate concerns about a possible worldwide food catastrophe that Russia’s invasion has sparked.

These are the key points of the deal:

  • The UN secretary general, Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey all signed the accord.

     
  • Turkey assisted in negotiating the agreement with Russia to open the Black Sea grain trade route from Ukraine.

     
  • Ukraine decided against signing a direct agreement with Russia; instead, they will presumably sign “mirror” agreements.

     
  • The teams from Russia and Ukraine are both in Istanbul to sign the contract, though.

     
  • Following the announcement of the contract, the price of wheat dropped on international markets.

     
  • Russia has been blocking Ukraine’s main Black Sea ports, despite the fact that it is one of the world’s top grain producers.

     
  • Ukrainian grain is in limited supply around the world, which has driven up food costs and put millions at risk of going hungry.

In Ukraine, almost 20 million tonnes of grain intended for export are stuck. This might increase to 75 million tonnes after this year’s harvest, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Earlier on Friday, Ukraine declared that it would not enter into any direct agreements with Russia and would only sign a pact with Turkey and the UN to restore grain exports that had been halted by Moscow’s invasion.

No agreements are signed between Ukraine and Russia. Mykhaylo Podolyak, a presidential advisor, posted on Twitter that “we will sign an agreement with Turkey and the UN,” adding that Russia would sign a separate “mirror” deal.

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The UN Secretary-General has praised the Ukraine grain deal as “a beacon on the Black Sea… a beacon of relief in a world that needs it more than ever.” signing ceremony in Turkey, António Guterres says the agreement, which “did not come easily,” will enable exports from Odessa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny ports.

According to officials, the agreement will create a control centre in Istanbul that will be manned by UN, Turkish, Russian, and Ukrainian officials and will oversee and manage grain exports. Ships would undergo inspections to make sure they were transporting fertiliser and grains rather than weaponry. It also includes provisions for the ships’ secure transit.

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