Istanbul, 23 July 2022 (TDI): Russia and Ukraine signed a separate but identical agreement on Friday in Istanbul. The agreement allows for safe and free passage of Ukrainian and some Russian exports over the Black Sea.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lead the signing ceremony at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov represented their countries at the ceremony.
This is the first major deal signed by the two states since the start of the war. It will allow the export of 22 million tons of grain easing the acute food crisis faced by the world.
Türkiye has played a great role in making this agreement happen. It has helped in negotiations with both sides for signing the deal.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations said on the occasion that “Today, there is a beacon on the Black Sea — a beacon of hope, a beacon of possibility, a beacon of relief.”
The agreement signed today by Ukraine, the Russian Federation & Türkiye under UN auspices opens a path for commercial food exports from Ukraine in the Black Sea.
It will help avoid a food shortage catastrophe for millions worldwide.
It is a beacon of hope, possibility & relief.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) July 22, 2022
The Foreign Minister of Türkiye also said that the agreement was a ray of hope. He added that it was a concrete step in the right direction to ensure pace in the future.
Finally a glimpse of hope!
A concrete step in the right direction to solve the global food crisis.
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) July 22, 2022
Although Ukraine did not want to be involved with Russia, still it put its hopes on the UN and Türkiye for the protection of its ships. They have directly warned that if Russia violates the agreement and tries to attack its ships or enter its ports then there will be an immediate military response to it.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that they only count on the UN and Türkiye for ensuring a safe passageway to bring Ukrainian exports to the world markets.
The Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the initiative for safe transportation of food exports. He said that resuming this exchange was very important for not only Ukraine but the whole world.
Furthermore, he added that he counts on the UN for the agreement’s proper implementation.
I welcome the signing of the initiative on the safe transportation of grain and other food exports from Ukrainian ports. Resuming them is vitally important for Ukraine and the world. I commend the efforts of @AntonioGuterres and count on the UN to ensure proper implementation.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) July 22, 2022
Benefits of the agreement:
The agreement is seen as a hope for the possibility of a peaceful future. It will also ease the rising food crisis.
Ukraine is one of the largest grain exporters in the world. With the start of the war, its exports decreased. Many of its grain shipments either never reached the markets or were stranded at its ports.
Similarly, sanctions on Russia did not involve food export but many companies and markets did not want to deal with Russia. This all caused food shortages and food prices to growing around the world.
To deal with this, Türkiye under the guidance of the United Nations, arranged a deal between the two states. It discussed the establishment of safe corridors on the Black Sea so that imports and exports could continue to flow from Ukraine especially, to the rest of the world.
The four sides are now set to arrange for a monitoring center that would address disputes and ships’ passage. Additionally, it will also check ships for the probability of having any weapons.