Photo Credit: Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times
Ukraine sent its most recent shipment of wheat last Monday after being blocked for many weeks. The commodity began in the port of Odesa and is essential for an arrangement between the nation and the United Nations. Moreover, it raised the certainty of many with respect to the continuous emergency in the supply network coming about from the continuous clash between Russia and Ukraine.
Since February 26, two days following the principal assault of Russia on Ukraine, it has been hard for Ukrainian business vessels to leave the port. The M/V Razoni is the first to make the movement across the Black Sea port since that point.
The boat hauls around 26,500 metric tons or around 29,000 US tons of corn. The UN uncovered that the port of Tripoli, Lebanon would undoubtedly get the shipment.
In July, Ukrainian and Russian representatives signed an agreement with the UN and Turkey to support exports to replenish grain stocks. However, according to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Samantha Power, more than 20 million tons of corn and wheat have been suspended in the port of Odesa.
It is a “day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa,” said Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, who expressed his delight in the development.
The M/V Razoni will arrive off the coast of Istanbul where the authorities will inspect it. Once it’s cleared, it can begin its final phase.
The situation before the shipment
Russian troops have held back grains from Ukraine since the beginning of the war. This has led to supply chain problems for countries that rely heavily on Ukrainian grains.
Surprisingly, the agreement negotiated by the parties last July 23 aimed to unlock ports and allow the safe passage of grain and oilseed exporting vessels across the Black Sea. Experts determine the route to avoid mines. Checkpoints would also be available in Istanbul to prevent arms smuggling.
It was challenging to reach the agreement. This required months of diplomatic negotiations. Eventually, the two countries reached a quorum and decided to go ahead with the deal – although diplomats are closely monitoring Russian involvement because of its post-strike in Odessa.
Senior diplomats said they are content with Russia’s choice to sign the arrangement; however, the nation needs to ‘adhere to the arrangement.’
“This is such an important step, but it is a first step. [Russia] now needs to honour their side of this deal and let grain ships pass safely. And they need to stop burning and appropriating [Ukrainian] grain,” said the British ambassador to Kyiv, Melinda Simmons, in a Tweet.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Kyiv said, “The world will be watching for continued implementation of this agreement to feed people around the world with millions of tons of trapped Ukrainian grain.”
“It’s a good opportunity to test the effectiveness of the mechanisms that were agreed upon during the Istanbul talks,” said Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman. He said he was also happy with the agreement made by the two nations.
Next round of deliveries?
According to the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul, further deliveries of grain from the Black Sea are currently not planned. The JCC said the parties are still monitoring the first batch before discussing the next round of deliveries. However, JCC will carefully facilitate each delivery moving forward.
The United Nations hopes that, despite the production damage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the newest deal can replenish about 5 million tons of grain every month.
Ukraine is one of the world’s leading grain exporters. Three-fourths of Ukraine’s grain harvest is shipped to other nations.
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