Russia and Ukraine sign UN-backed deal to resume grain exports via the Black Sea

Russia and Ukraine sign UN-backed deal to resume grain exports via the Black Sea
KEY POINTS
  • Russian and Ukrainian officials sat at separate tables to sign the documents.
  • The deal is significant for global food supplies.
  • But also as it’s the first major agreement between the two sides since Moscow launched it’s unprovoked onslaught on Feb. 24.
  • International onlookers are cautious on the deal and Russia will be closely watched to make sure it upholds its side of the agreement.

Russia and Ukraine on Friday signed a U.N.-backed deal to resume exports of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.

The agreement, which will be implemented in the next few weeks, was signed in the Turkish city of Istanbul and was brokered by the government in Ankara.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was in attendance along with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Russian and Ukrainian officials sat at separate tables to sign the documents.

Millions of tons of wheat have been stuck in the war-torn nation. Grain exporters in Ukrainian port cities like Odesa have been unable to export their goods due to the conflict, fueling a global shortage of the commodity and pushing up food prices.

Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest wheat exporters, and Russian forces have been blocking the Black Sea, where the grain silos at key Ukrainian ports are located.

Black Sea
The Bosporus and Dardanelles are the only water routes in or out of the Black Sea. That gives Turkey influence over how Russia’s navy can move.
Bryn Bache | CNBC

The deal is significant for global food supplies, but also as it’s the first major agreement between the two sides since Moscow launched it’s unprovoked onslaught on Feb. 24.

‘Beacon of hope’

While the details of the deal are currently unknown, it was expected to allow Ukrainian vessels to guide ships through mined waters, with a localized truce in place so Russia does not attack. Turkish officials are also expected to inspect the shipments to rule out any weapons smuggling.

International onlookers are cautious on the deal and Russia will be closely watched to make sure it upholds its side of the agreement. Moscow, which blames Ukraine for laying the mines, is also expected to restart its own grain exports in the Black Sea under the agreement.

Erdogan said at the signing Friday that the deal would prevent billions of people from facing famine. He said he hoped that the deal would be a turning point in the war and called on both sides to end the conflict.

“We are proud to be instrumental in an initiative that will play a major role in solving global food crisis that has been on the agenda for a long time,” he said, according to a translation.

Guterres struck an optimistic tone, saying there was now a beacon “on the Black Sea.” “A beacon of hope [and] possibility … and relief in a world that needs it more than ever.”

Ukraine is one of the world’s top agricultural producers and exporters. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, it is normally the world’s top producer of sunflower meal, oil, and seed. it’s also the world’s top exporter of sunflower meal and oil, and the world’s seventh-largest wheat producer.

Top destinations for wheat exports include Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

December futures prices for wheat on the Paris exchange slipped by around 5% after the deal was announced.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Right, And U.n. Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, Sit As Two Representatives Of Ukraine And Russia Delegations Check Hands During A Signing Ceremony At Dolmabahce Palace In Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, July 22, 2022.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and U.N. Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, sit as two representatives of Ukraine and Russia delegations check hands during a signing ceremony at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, July 22, 2022.
This article was originally published on cnbc.com

Share to Social Media

Share on facebook
Share on telegram
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp

Recent News

Hot stories

Promotion

Join Our Newsletter