From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NA
Mains level : Global wheat shortage
Kyiv and Moscow penned a landmark agreement with Turkey and the UN to unblock Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports after a Russian blockade raised fears of a global food crisis.
What is the deal about?
- The deal was agreed through UN and Turkish mediation.
- It establishes safe corridors along which Ukrainian ships can come in and out of three designated Black Sea ports in and around Odessa.
- Both sides also pledged not to attack ships on the way in or out.
Why such move?
- It will bring relief for developing countries on the edge of bankruptcy and the most vulnerable people on the edge of famine.
- The five-month war has already displaced millions and left thousands dead.
- It is being fought across one of Europe’s most fertile regions by two of the world’s biggest grain producers.
- Up to 25 million tonnes of wheat and other grain have been blocked in Ukrainian ports by Russian warships and landmines Kyiv has laid to avert a feared amphibious assault.
Why was the grain export deal signed?
- 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.
- Some grain is being transported through Europe by rail, road and river, but the prices of vital commodities like wheat and barley have soared during the nearly five-month war.
- Ukrainian and Russian military delegations reached a tentative agreement last week on a UN plan that would also allow Russia to export its grain and fertilizers.
- Ukraine is expected to export 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural products that have been stuck in Black Sea ports due to the war.
What is the grain export deal?
- The deal makes provisions for the safe passage of ships.
- It foresees the establishment of a control center in Istanbul, to be staffed by UN, Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian officials, to run and coordinate the process.
- Ships would undergo inspections to ensure they are not carrying weapons.
- Ukraine has insisted that no Russian ship would escort vessels and that there would be no Russian representative present at Ukrainian ports.
- Ukraine also plans an immediate military response in case of provocations.