Shipment insurance

Signing of a grain shipment agreement in Ukraine

Ukraine and Russia have signed an agreement to release millions of tons of grain stuck in Black Sea ports.

The agreement, signed Friday in Istanbul, Turkey, and negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations, “also paves the way for Russian grain and fertilizer to reach global markets, [which] will help stabilize soaring food prices around the world and avert famine, which affects millions of people,” the UN said in a press release.

The Russian invasion that began on February 24 “has caused record food and fuel prices, as well as supply chain problems, with millions of tons of grain stocks stuck in silos”, said the UN. “The initiative specifically enables large volumes of commercial food exports from three key Ukrainian Black Sea ports – Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres “also announced the establishment of a joint coordination center to monitor the implementation of the Black Sea Initiative,” the UN said.

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Twitter that Ukraine “has not signed any documents with Russia”. Instead, the country has signed an agreement with Turkey and the UN and “will assume obligations towards them. Russia signs a mirror agreement with Turkey and the UN.

Mikhail Podolyak also said that there would be “no transport escort by Russian ships and no presence of [Russian] representatives in our ports. In case of provocation, [there will be] an immediate military response.

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Finally, Podolyak said: “All inspections of transport vessels will be carried out by joint groups in [Turkish] waters if needed.

Humanitarian group Mercy Corps welcomed the initiative but warned it would not solve the global food crisis.

“If honored and adopted in good faith, today’s agreement to protect Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea will help alleviate grain shortages, but let’s be clear: it will not end or will significantly alter the trajectory of the worsening global food crisis,” Mercy said. Corps CEO Tjada D’Oyen McKenna.

“Unblocking Ukrainian ports will not reverse war damage to crops, farmland and agricultural transit routes in the country,” she said. “It will not significantly change the price or availability of fuel, fertilizer and other commodities that are now out of reach for many, especially in low-income countries; and it will certainly not help the majority of the 50 million people in the world who are approaching famine to ward off famine.

Senior UN officials told reporters on Friday that the deal would be operational within weeks, according to Reuters.

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