Grain Export Pact Is Signed By Ukraine And Russia
Ukraine and Russia, two at war with each other European countries, have agreed to sign a deal on Saturday for the safe export of Ukrainian grain in an effort to avert a potential food disaster.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, this will be the two nations’ first significant accord.
According to reports, the signing ceremony will take place tomorrow in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, where the delegations from Ukraine and Russia will also be present. Also attending will be UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish President’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, Friday, described the deal as “critically important for global food security.”
With the help of the agreement, tens of millions of tons of grain trapped in Ukrainian ships and silos will be able to be sold on global markets via a secure Black Sea shipping route.
Despite dire predictions of an impending food catastrophe from the international community, the Russian invasion has halted grain exports from Ukraine, one of the world’s major breadbaskets, driving up grain prices globally.
The face-to-face discussions between the Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish, and UN officials started last week in Istanbul.
According to the defense minister of Turkey, the parties reached an agreement on “basic technical” matters, including the creation of an Istanbul-based coordination center, cooperative security checks at ship entry and leave points and navigational safety on shipping lanes.
The deal’s specifics have not been disclosed by the officials.
For the exports to resume, Moscow has demanded that Ukraine remove mines from its ports.
In response, Ukraine has requested third-party security guarantees, claiming that doing so could open the door for Russian invasions of its coastline.
The pact was cautiously welcomed by the US, whose State Department spokesperson called it a positive development.
“But what will really matter is the implementation of this agreement. We will of course continue to work with our partners to hold Russia accountable for its implementation,” Ned Price said.
“We applaud the diligent work of our Turkish allies,” says a US department spokesperson.