TE24 International Desk:
Ukraine and Russia are expected to sign a deal on Friday to reopen Black Sea ports for grain exports, raising hopes that an international food crisis triggered by Moscow’s attack could end. Ukraine and Russia – both among the world’s biggest exporters – did not immediately confirm an announcement made by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s office, but Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky hinted late at night that ports in the region could be unblocked.
The proposed ‘package deal’ – which includes shipments of fertilizer – has been facilitated by Turkey and the United Nations; UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Erdogan will be present at the signing of the documents in Istanbul.
“The grain export agreement, which is crucial for global food security, will be signed tomorrow in Istanbul under the auspices of President Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Mr. Guterres with Ukrainian and Russian representatives,” a Turkish presidential spokesman tweeted.
It was the first major deal since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and the result of two months of UN-Turkey-led talks, global price hikes and millions of people. This will be welcome news in the face of hunger.
The US welcomed the deal, but State Department spokesman Edward Price said Washington would focus on Moscow’s implementation.
Ukraine, like the US, has warned against the deal. His foreign ministry told Reuters today that another round of talks would be held to support the decision to ensure security in the south.
In Ukrainian ports, 25 million tons of wheat and other grains were blocked by Russian warships and land mines laid by Q. Russia, meanwhile, has claimed the right to check all incoming ships for weapons.
Russia has previously called for some sanctions to be lifted.
Ukraine still sends grain via rail, road and river to neighboring EU countries, but the volume is much lower than usual.
During this grain supply crisis, India supplied nearly 2 million tonnes of wheat at the request of foreign governments. 4,444 senior officials said this was due to the government’s ban on foreign sales in May. More than 12 countries, including Oman and the United Arab Emirates, are demanding wheat shipments from India.
In more good news for global markets, Russia on Thursday restored significant gas supplies to Europe via Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline.
European countries fear using energy supplies as a ‘weapon’ to lift sanctions on Russia. The European Union is working to reduce Russia’s dependence on energy supplies.
“War Without Mercy”
Meanwhile, Russian forces continue to attack targets in Ukraine. On Thursday, bombings hit Kharkiv, which has already been marked by weeks of bombardment.
At least three people were reportedly killed and about 20 were injured. Since the invasion of Russia on February 24, tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed, millions have become refugees, and fears of a nuclear war have increased.
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