According to the Istanbul Agreement signed days ago, the first shipment carrying grains for exportation has taken off only yesterday. Over 20 million tonnes of grain have been locked in the Ukrainian seaports after the Russian invasion, 4 months ago, such as the three main ports that made the point of the aforementioned agreement like the Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny. As a matter of fact, the exportation of grain, and other food commodities have been greatly reduced during the past months; obviously due to the Ukrainian war leading to the current food crisis worldwide and a humanitarian catastrophe.
Food has become more expensive and prices tripled since the beginning of the war, given both Russia and Ukraine are responsible for 30% of wheat production and exportation worldwide and 90% of them are shipped through seaports, making that hundreds of millions of people worldwide are essentially dependent upon their exports. The Russian forces have blocked the Ukrainian black sea ports and economic sanctions on Russia have worsened the situation since their food exports have also detrimentally decreased. Prior the beginning of the war, according to Brookings, 6 million tons, currently reduced to around 1,5 or 2 million tons only, used to be shipped monthly from Ukraine to developing countries such as the Middle East and African countries, and since Russia blocked the Black sea ports exportation was mainly done through rail and road transport.
For this reason, this agreement was signed the 13th of July in Istanbul with delegations from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations where it was agreed to finally ship the grains with constant checks and warships accompanying the shipping to guarantee protection. This was all done under the supervision and command of the Joint Coordination Centre that is responsible of checking and monitoring ships based in Istanbul. Part of the agreement might have been threatened due to the Russian bombings of the Odessa Port days ago which has been considered as treason and a stab in the back to the parties involved in the parties, and this is partially because Russia has not yet fully agreed or signed the agreement.
In addition, it is not sure whether Russian grain will be exported due to the economic sanctions on Russia by the European Union and its search and gain of new economic partners such as the Asian Countries(China in particular) and the reorientation of its exportations to those countries or new economic partners or allies. Nonetheless, the ship carrying 26000 metric of grain headed off to Tripoli in Lebanon, in an attempt to solve the current global crisis and the haunting spectre of possible famine. Such a move was applauded both by the European Union and the United Nations after the long-held negotiations.
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