From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Grain Initiaitve, Black Sea
Mains level : Implications of Russia-Ukraine War
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative as Russia has agreed to resume its participation.
Black Sea Grain Initiative
- The Initiative eased Russia’s naval blockade and saw the reopening of three key Ukrainian ports.
- The agreement to create the sea corridor was negotiated by representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the UN and Turkey in July this year.
- The agreement created procedures to safely export grain from certain ports to attempt to address the 2022 food crisis.
- It provides a safe maritime humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian exports (particularly for food grains) from three of its key ports, namely, Chornomorsk, Odesa and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi in the Black Sea.
Outcomes of this deal
- Approximately 9.8 million tonnes of grains have been shipped so far since the deal was brokered.
- People hoarding the grain in the hope of selling it for a sizable profit owing to the supply crunch were now obligated to sell.
- The initiative has also been credited for having made a huge difference to the global cost of living crisis.
What would suspension of the deal mean?
- In a nutshell, the deal’s suspension was expected to re-introduce the price pressures on grain prices, especially that of wheat, with inventory being at historical lows.
- It could particularly impact countries in the Middle East and Africa such as Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen which have benefitted from the resumption and are particularly dependent on Russian and Ukrainian exports
About Black Sea
- The famed water body is bound by Ukraine to the north and northwest, Russia and Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west.
- It links to the Sea of Marmara through the Bosphorus and then to the Aegean through the Dardanelles.
Significance of Black Sea for Russia
- Domination of the Black Sea region is a geostrategic imperative for Moscow.
- Black Sea has traditionally been Russia’s warm water gateway to Europe.
- For Russia, the Black Sea is both a stepping stone to the Mediterranean.
- It acts as a strategic buffer between NATO and itself.
- It showcases the Russian power in the Mediterranean and to secure the economic gateway to key markets in southern Europe.
- Russia has been making efforts to gain complete control over the Black Sea since the Crimean crisis of 2014.