Turkey Reports Deal to Restore Ukrainian Grain Exports
The Turkey-Ukraine crisis has been a long-standing source of resentment between the two countries. However, recent reports have highlighted that Turkey is making progress on resolving the conflict. The two countries have agreed to establish a joint coordination center in Istanbul, staffed by officials from Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. The center will monitor vessels entering Ukrainian ports and ensure that they are not carrying any weapons. Under the deal, Ukrainian pilots will guide ships entering and exiting Ukrainian ports.
At the Istanbul ceremony, representatives from both countries did not sit together. The deal is hoped to ease the flow of grain and fertilizer into Ukraine. This would make it easier for Ukrainian farmers to access these commodities, which are currently prohibited by the U.S. and European Union sanctions. The deal aims to bring down soaring fertilizer costs, which could affect harvest yields. In a tweet, Ukraine’s president’s adviser noted that the deal was signed bilaterally with Turkey, and that Russia would soon sign a “mirror” agreement with the Ukraine.
The deal also involves a Russian truce while shipments are in transit. This is expected to take weeks, and analysts expect shipments to resume within a few weeks. However, it is important that Russia and Ukraine remain committed to the deal, as the deal is far from inevitable given the ongoing war on the ground and the parallel economic war between Moscow and the West. The FT article cites a recent article by a former British minister on the matter.
The agreement was signed under the auspices of U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is scheduled to oversee the signing ceremony. The deal will allow Ukraine to resume grain exports to the world market. Meanwhile, Russia will once again export grain and fertilizers from the country to other countries. This deal is crucial for global food security. This deal aims to end the war-induced blockade.
The agreement also includes Ukraine resuming grain exports through the Black Sea, which will help alleviate the growing food crisis in the region. The agreement is expected to take effect by July 13 2022, but heavy shelling and other tensions will likely persist for years. The deal will include joint controls of ships in Black Sea ports and a mechanism for guaranteeing the safety of transfer routes. The parties will also establish a coordination center to oversee shipping exports from the country.
The deal did not resolve Ukraine’s concerns about Russia’s naval blockade and the threat of mines. Ukraine, on the other hand, has buried mines near its eastern shores, a threat to shipping. Ukraine also accused Russia of stealing grain from its eastern regions and deliberately shelling its fields. Despite these efforts, the deal has yet to be signed. It remains to be seen whether the deal will be finalised.