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Latest Russia-Ukraine War News: Live Updates

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credit…Nicole Tan of The New York Times

BRUSSELS — The grain deal agreed by Russia and Ukraine has many moving parts, and officials didn’t even think it was possible until mid-June.

Here’s what you need to know about the grain problem and how you can address it now.

Why was Ukrainian grain stuck in the country?

After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Russia deployed warships to Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. Ukraine mined these waters to deter Russian naval attacks. This meant that ports used to export Ukrainian grain were blocked for commercial shipments. Russia also stole grain storage, prevented grain fields from being mined and harvested, and destroyed grain storage facilities.

credit…Tyler Hicks/New York Times

How are operations performed?

Ukrainian captains steer ships loaded with grain from the ports of Odessa, Yuzhne and Chornomorsk.

A joint command center with Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish and UN officials will immediately be set up in Istanbul to monitor all movements of the fleet.

NOTE: Arrows indicate the general direction of movement.does not represent

exact route. Source: European and other government officials

NOTE: Arrows indicate the general direction of movement.does not represent

exact route. Source: European and other government officials

The ship will head to Turkish waters, be inspected by a joint team of Turkish, UN, Ukrainian and Russian authorities, deliver the cargo to destinations around the world, and return to Ukraine for another inspection by the joint team.

The agreement stipulates that the inspection team’s main responsibility is to check for “unauthorized cargo and personnel on board entering or leaving Ukrainian ports.” Russia’s main request was that the returning ships not carry weapons to Ukraine.

The parties have agreed that the vessel and the port facilities used for its operations shall be protected from hostilities.

The operation is expected to begin shipping 5 million tonnes of grain per month soon. Given that at this rate, 2.5 million tons have already been transported by land and river to Ukraine’s friendly neighbors, a stockpile of nearly 20 million tons should he clear within 3-4 months. This will free up space in storage facilities for new harvests already underway in Ukraine.

What are the risks?

No major truce has been negotiated, resulting in ships passing through a war zone. Attacks near ships or at the ports they use could unravel the agreement. Another risk is a breach of trust or disagreement between inspectors and joint commanders.

The role of the United Nations and Turkey is to mediate such disagreements on the spot and to monitor and enforce the agreement. The agreement is valid for 120 days and the UN hopes it will be renewed.

credit…Sergey Bobok/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Will this soon solve world hunger and bring down food prices?

No. Global hunger, a persistent problem caused by inadequate distribution and price manipulation of food, strikes several parts of the world each year. It is often exacerbated by conflict and is also affected by climate change. The war in Ukraine, which produces most of the world’s wheat, has put enormous strain on the grain distribution network, driving up prices and fueling hunger.

Officials said the deal could increase wheat flows to Somalia within weeks and avert a full-blown famine, which could lead to a gradual decline in global grain prices. I’m here. But given the fragility of the deal, the grain market is unlikely to return to normal anytime soon.

What are the advantages for Russia?

Russia is also a major exporter of grains and fertilizers, and the agreement should make it easier to sell these commodities on the global market.

The Kremlin has repeatedly claimed that it cannot export its inventory due to sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union.

Although the measure does not actually affect these commodities, private shipping companies, insurance companies, banks and other companies have been reluctant to help Russia export grain and fertilizers. .

The European Union (EU) provided legal clarification to the sanctions on July 21, revealing that various banks and other companies involved in grain trading are not actually banned.

The United Nations, with similar assurances from the United States, said it had held talks with the private sector and should boost trade from Russia, especially from Russia’s Novorossiysk port.


July 22, 2022

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the process agreed between Ukraine and Russia regarding grain ships. The ship carries cargo to various destinations, returns to Ukrainian ports and stops for inspections in Turkey. Their cargo is not necessarily unloaded in Turkey and taken to its destination by other ships.

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