Black Sea Grain Deal

Context:  Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was considering withdrawing from the Black Sea grain deal. Why does Russia want to withdraw?
  • Russia only agreed to the deal for the sake of countries in Africa and Latin America but only around 3.2-3.4% of the grain goes to the world’s poorest countries while 40% went to prosperous countries.
About Black Sea Grain Deal:
  • The deal makes provisions for the safe passage of ships.
  • The United Nations and Turkey brokered the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2022 to help tackle a global food crisis worsened by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and blockade of its Black Sea ports.
  • It allows food and fertiliser to be exported from three Ukrainian ports – Chornomorsk, Odesa and Pivdennyi (Yuzhny)
  • It foresees the establishment of a control centre in Istanbul, to be staffed by U.N, Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian officials, to run and coordinate the process.
  • Ships would undergo inspections to ensure they are not carrying weapons.
Why was the grain export deal signed?
  • Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but Russia’s invasion of the country and naval blockade of its ports have halted shipments.
  • The prices of vital commodities like wheat and barley have soared during the war.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) warned that its ability to feed some 125 million people was under threat because 50% of its grain came from Ukraine.
  • 36 countries count on Russia and Ukraine for more than half of their wheat imports, including some of the poorest and most vulnerable.
Why was the movement of grains halted?
  • Moscow accused Ukraine of failing to remove sea mines at the ports to allow safe shipping and insisted on its right to check incoming ships for weapons.
  • Ukraine has argued that Russia’s port blockade and launching of missiles from the Black Sea made any shipments unviable.
  • Ukraine has sought international guarantees that the Kremlin wouldn’t use the safe corridors to attack the Black Sea port of Odesa.
News Source: Indian Express

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