Mediated by Turkey, a member of NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and aneighbour to both Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea, and the U.N, Kyiv and Moscow are due to sign deals that would free up Ukrainian Black Sea ports and reopen grain shipments to world markets and for Russia to export grain and fertilizers.
Ukrainian and Russian military representatives have reached an agreement on a U.N.-led plan, which would let Ukraine to export 22 million tons of desperately needed grain and other agricultural products that have been stuck in the Black Sea ports since Moscow’s invasion.According to a Russian state news agency, citing unnamed sources, three Ukrainian ports, including the biggest export hub Odessa, would be reopened.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, take part in a signing ceremony in Istanbul.Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov are the expected to sign. It is learnt that Ukraine and Russia would sign separate agreementswith Turkey and the U.N. However, Istanbul remarked thatTurkey would continue its efforts to resolve the conflict between the two coutries, with this “first step to solve the current food crisis.” With no prospects for a cease-fire in the near future, this deal could boost confidence between the two countries.
Ukraine, one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, saw halted shipments due to the Russian invasion.Though grain transportation through Europe happens by rail, road and river, the prices have soared during the nearly five-month war.The halt to grain exports during the five-month war has caused steep price rise. Reopening Ukrainian ports may potentially avert famine in parts of the world.
European Union had proposed relaxing some earlier sanctions on Russia to shore up global food security. Moscow hoped this would create conditions for unhindered exports of grain and fertilizers.The deal makes provisions for safe passage of ships with a controlcentre in Istanbul, with the U.N., Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian officials coordinating the process. Inspections would ensure ships do not carry weapons.No Russian representative would be present at Ukrainian ports. Ukraine also plans an immediate military response “in case of provocations”.
UN is in favour of this package deal due to fears that the war was endangering food supplies for many developing nations and could worsen hunger for up to 181 million people if it continues thus and U.S. welcomes the agreement.