The United Nations is trying to revive the Black Sea Grain Deal by proposing that Ukraine, Russia and Turkey should start preparatory work for the transit of Russian ammonia through Ukraine. The United Nations also wants to widen this deal by including more Ukrainian ports and other cargoes. Both Ukraine and Turkey have agreed to the proposal but no response has been received from Russia.
This new proposal is intended to improve operations in Black Sea Grain corridor. The international body has also handed over an official appeal to the leaders of Kyiv, Moscow and Ankara to improve the work of Grain corridor. As per the officials from Ukraine, Russia has unreasonably restricted the work of Black sea grain initiative.
This month, Moscow agreed to a two-month extension of the deal but at the same time it has made itself clear by demanding an agreement to overcome obstacles in the export of Russian grains and fertilizers.
Several problems have arisen during the negotiation of this deal. Ukrainian President has accused Russia of blocking all activity at Pivdennyi seaport, which is a commercial seaport near Odessa. Due to this act of Russia, it has become difficult to export 1.5 million agricultural products from Ukraine. Therefore, blockade of one port in Ukraine could have implications for several countries.
About the Black Sea Grain Initiative
Black Sea Grain Initiative was brokered by Turkey and United Nations in July 2022 and was signed in Istanbul. The deal which has been signed by Russia and Ukraine would allow a safe passage for the export of food grains and other agricultural commodities from Ukraine. It will create a safe maritime humanitarian corridor for Ukraine’s exports.
The Black Sea Grain initiative tackles increasing food prices which is a result of supply chain disruptions.These disruptions have been caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Importance of the Black Sea Grain Deal
Ukraine is considered as the “breadbasket” of the world. It is one of the largest exporters of wheat,maize, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil. Many countries are dependent on Ukrainian exports for essential commodities. The ports located on the Black Sea allows it to access and export its commodities to the rest of the world.
This initiative has played an important role to calm the markets by ensuring adequate supply of grains and also helped in reducing the global food inflation. This initiative has helped in moving around 30 million metric tons of agricultural exports from Ukraine.
Black Sea- An important trade artery
Black Sea is an important trade and transportation artery for Russia as well as Ukraine. It provides access to the countries of Europe, Middle East as well as Africa. The Mediterranean region can also be accessed via the Black Sea. Therefore, this sea is very valuable for Russia.
Not only this, the sea has ports which are navigable year-round, therefore allowing Russia to have dominance over the waters. Its importance as a trade route was very clear when due to Russia’s blockage of Black Sea, Ukrainian exports were not able to reach the world.
Therefore, it remains to be seen that how Russia continues to assert its dominance in the Black Sea and how the United Nations convinces both the countries to revive the Grain initiative.