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Food crisis to ease as Russia, Ukraine sign landmark deals on grain exports

Food crisis to ease as Russia, Ukraine sign landmark deals on grain exports
July 22
16:06 2022

Russia and Ukraine signed separate agreements with Turkey and the United Nations to enable the export of millions of tons of grains needed across the world.

The agreement was reached on Friday, according to The Washington Post.

The deal hopes to restart grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports that have been blocked since Russia’s invasion and ease the ravaging global food crisis.

Sergei Shoigu, Russian defence minister and Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukrainian infrastructure minister, signed separate deals with Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general and Hulusi Akar, the Turkish defence minister.

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The ceremony was witnessed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Today, there is a beacon on the Black Sea. A beacon of hope, a beacon of possibility, a beacon of relief in a world that needs it more than ever,” Guterres said at the signing ceremony while addressing the Russian and Ukrainian representatives.

“You have overcome obstacles and put aside differences to pave the way for an initiative that will serve the common interests of all.”

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The landmark agreement comes after five months of conflict between both countries.

Both countries are among the world’s top exporters of agricultural products.

Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but Russia’s invasion of the country and naval blockade of its ports have halted shipments.

The deal follows a tentative agreement reached last week by Ukrainian and Russian military delegations on a UN plan that would allow Russia to export its grain and fertilisers.

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The deal will enable Ukraine to export 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural products stuck in Black Sea ports due to the war.

Guterres said the plan, known as the “Black Sea Initiative,” would open a path for significant volumes of commercial food exports from three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea: Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny”.

It would “bring relief for developing countries on the edge of bankruptcy and the most vulnerable people on the edge of famine.”

“It will help stabilise global food prices, which were already at record levels even before the war – a true nightmare for developing countries,” Guterres added.

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From high oil prices to soaring food prices, low-income economies have been mostly affected by the cascading effects of the conflict.

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