Perishable Grain Export Agreement. Russia complains to the West, threatens not to extend it |

In July, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to revive grain exports. African countries, long plagued by drought and food shortages, have largely awaited imports. Recently, however, Russia has begun to criticize the agreement and anything related to it. They claim grain from Ukrainian ships is heading to Europe, but UN figures deny this.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speech On September 7, he said that of the 80 ships carrying food from Ukraine, only two were bound for the poorest countries, the rest being sent to Europe. “With such an approach, the scale of the world’s food problem will only grow,” he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also used similar rhetoric on Monday, state news agency TASS reported. defendant West from breach of contract.

base data However, since exports to the United Nations resumed, only a minority of the ships sent to EU member states have ended up in EU countries.largely two-thirds Of the Ukrainian grain, it went to Asia and Africa, Ukrainian officials added.

Mikhail Podlyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, added that the grain agreement does not place any restrictions on where it can be shipped. “Russia cannot tell Ukraine where to send grain, and Ukraine cannot tell Russia to do the same.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) President Rebecca Grinspan said the July agreement had boosted agricultural exports not only from Ukraine but also from Russia. The AP Agency said international sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine do not apply to food and fertilizers, but the war would disrupt exports from Russia because shipping and insurance companies did not want to do business with Russia. added.

But the agreement is very fragile. It expires in November, and Russia threatened last week that it might not be extended.

war hunger

Wheat exports had already been disrupted at the beginning of the invasion when the Russians blocked Ukrainian ports. As a result, grain prices have risen, further increasing the number of hungry people in the world – the United Nations is speaking About 40 million people. “We need more supplies from Ukraine, Russia and other countries to balance the very desperate situation in the Horn of Africa and the region as a whole,” he told British broadcasters. BBC Michael Dunford, East Africa Director of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said:

The Horn of Africa countries include Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. The latter was most affected by the war in Ukraine, as his 90% of Ukrainian grain imports were sourced by Russia and Ukraine.

Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi announced that the country’s agricultural exports could rise to 6.5 million tonnes in October.

Although the agreement is now in effect, Ukraine will not be able to return to its original export levels as few ships enter it. The reason for this is concern for the safety of seafarers. For example, there are an unknown number of mines in the Black Sea, and last week a Romanian ship damaged one of hers.

“At the moment, we are not sending ships to Ukrainian ports because they do not feel safe. There is also the risk of getting stuck in ports,” he told the agency. Reuters Alexander Savelis, CEO of Belgian shipping group CMB, which exported grain from Ukraine before the war.

drought and civil war

But the war in Ukraine is not the only cause of hunger in Africa. In late 2020, the continent suffered its worst drought in 40 years. In addition, the situation is long-term, with four seasons of continuous rain not bringing in enough water. As a result, millions of livestock died and 1.1 million people were displaced from their homes due to lack of water and food.

Forecasts for the coming year are also less than optimistic, with further reductions in precipitation expected. “Unfortunately, our model shows very reliably that the Horn of Africa will enter five consecutive unsuccessful rainy seasons,” said Guleid Artan, director of the East Africa Regional Climate Center. .

Somalia, for example, threatened with famine that killed hundreds of thousands of people ten years ago. The situation is also complicated by the civil war that broke out between the federal government and he one of the ethnic parties in Ethiopia’s Tigray province. “Currently, operations in Tigray are on hold while we assess both security and our ability to reach people. This is overwhelming because there are so many people,” adds Dunford. .

Lavrov commented on the topic of stolen grain:

A Ukrainian journalist asked Lavrov what stolen goods Russia was already selling besides grain. | | Video: Reuters


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