Ukraine and Russia on Friday signed a landmark deal aimed at relieving a global food crisis caused by blocked Black Sea grain deliveries, ending months of negotiations and sending wheat prices tumbling to levels last seen before Moscow’s invasion.
Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s biggest exporters of grains, but the war between them has led to a de-facto blockade of the Black Sea, resulting in Ukraine’s exports dropped. Both countries export 23 per cent of the world’s cereal foods. A good gesture of Russia to ease the world’s food crisis.
It’s expected that the deal will make it possible to export 22 million tons of Ukrainian wheat, corn, and other cereals.
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu and Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, Oleksandr Kubrakov, signed the deal separately on Friday, carefully avoiding sitting at the same table and avoiding shaking hands. The accord signing ceremony took place at Istanbul’s lavish Dolmabahce Palace in the presence of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Both leaders hoped that the agreement would be hope on the Black Sea and relief in a world that needed it more than ever. Guterres called on Russia and Ukraine to fully implement the accord. The agreement is valid for 120 days and may be automatically renewed without further negotiations
Erdogan a key player in the negotiations who has good relations with both Moscow and Kyiv said the deal would hopefully revive the path to peace.
Ukraine is concerned about the safety of its grain deliveries to world markets. Accordingly, ships entering Ukraine will be inspected under the supervision of the same joint coordination centre to ensure they are not carrying weapons.
The Russian and Ukrainian sides will also withhold attacks on any of the commercial vessels or ports engaged in the initiative to transport vital grain, while UN and Turkish monitors will be present in Ukrainian ports to demarcate areas protected by the agreement.
The easing of sanctions in exchange for Russia signing the grain deal could make it easier for Russia to import agricultural machinery and spare parts. In 2021, imports made up more than 75 per cent of the Russian agricultural equipment market, coming largely from Germany and the Netherlands.
Since the Russian-Ukraine war erupted on February 24, the global supply chain has been disrupted and inflation is sky-rocketing all around the world and International prices of food, Energy has reached up to the peak.
The agreement shall be the first step towards resolving the issues between the two warring countries besides solving the food crisis. It may be hoped that the agreement will also pave the way for both nations’ food and fertilisers to reach world markets.
Let the UN and the sane countries intervene between Russia and Ukraine for a peace deal.