This is a critical step forward in efforts to overcome the global food insecurity caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Its success will depend on the swift and good faith implementation of today’s agreement.Foreign policy chief of the European Union Josep Borrell on separate agreements signed by Ukraine and Russia on Friday which will allow grain to again be exported from Ukrainian ports.
Why It Matters: The fulfillment of this deal will allow more than 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain to be transported out of Ukrainian Black Sea ports, “ending a wartime standoff that had threatened food security around the globe” (Associated Press).
- The blockade currently in place in the Black Sea due to Russia’s war in Ukraine has impacted millions of people in places such as East Africa, as food supply has been unable to leave Ukrainian ports to reach countries which already deal with food insecurity. Normally, Ukraine supplies about 10% of the world’s wheat.
- Because of these agreements brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, Ukraine will be able to once again export grain out of three of its ports on the Black Sea, providing what U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres describes as “a beacon of hope, a beacon of possibility, a beacon of relief in a world that needs it more than ever.”
- U.N. officials noted that a parallel agreement also “paves the way for Russian food and fertilizer to reach global markets,” without the exports being affected by sanctions.
What’s Next? The “unprecedented agreement“ is expected to take effect in the coming weeks; however, many onlookers around the world are wary of Russia upholding its side of the deal. How rapidly will food be able to reach countries who most need it? “It will not move quickly,” founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University Stephen Flynn says, due to the extreme lack of trust between Ukraine and Russia.
Black Sea grain exports deal ‘a beacon of hope’ amid Ukraine war — Guterres (United Nations News)
“A beacon of hope”: Ukraine, Russia sign grain export deal (Associated Press)
by Jenna Lee,