December 5, 2023

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Ukrainian Cereals | Trade in the Black Sea will continue after Russia withdraws

Ukrainian Cereals |  Trade in the Black Sea will continue after Russia withdraws

(Istanbul) Ukrainian grain exports resumed on Monday in the Black Sea, backed by the UN and Turkey, after Russia suspended its participation in an international agreement guaranteeing a humanitarian corridor.

Posted at 6:19 am
Updated at 12:55 p.m.

Anne Chan
France Media Agency

At least ten cargo ships are fully engaged in the maritime corridor. Icaria AngelIt was chartered by the World Food Program with 30,000 tons of wheat to Djibouti, according to Marine Traffic’s website.

The Joint Coordination Center (JCC), which is responsible for monitoring the international agreement on Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, has scheduled a dozen cargo ships to depart from Ukrainian ports during the day.

Four more boats are due to leave Istanbul for Ukraine after their holds are inspected.

However, Moscow warned against the “dangerous” and “dangerous” continuation of navigation in the Black Sea without its agreement: “In circumstances where Russia indicates that it is impossible to guarantee the safety of navigation in these areas, such an agreement will be difficult to implement,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

But in the morning, Amir Abdullah, the United Nations coordinator for the Ukrainian Grain Initiative, warned on Twitter that “no civilian cargo” should “become a military target or be held captive.” Food must pass.”

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agreement signed by the United Nations and Ankara with Russia and Ukraine to guarantee Ukrainian exports makes it possible to meet the basic food needs of 45 countries, including 33 countries in Africa. )

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Uncertainties over the future of this commitment immediately caused prices to rebound in international markets, with wheat exceeding 354 euros a tonne on Euronext during the session.

Hence the UN and Turkey engaged in full diplomacy to keep it afloat.

“The same facilities exist, even if Russia hesitates [qu’à l’Ukraine] He is not offered, we are determined to continue our efforts in the service of humanity,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

An agreement, signed separately with Russia and without Ukraine, eases Russian exports of fertilizers and agricultural products that have been hampered by Western sanctions. But it was not really applied.

Inspections are ongoing

Russia used Friday’s drone strike on Crimea as a pretext to “suspend” its membership of a deal on Ukrainian exports.

On Sunday, it withdrew from ship inspections mandated by an international treaty “until further notice”.

But Turkey, officially warned, will not accept defeat.

On Monday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar continued contacts with his Ukrainian counterpart and was due to join the Russian minister in the evening.

“We must continue. Suspending this initiative will not benefit Russia or Ukraine,” he stressed, calling on “the parties to review their decisions.”

The minister had already on Sunday “reminded the parties of the importance of continuing this initiative […] and avoiding any provocation that may have adverse effects”.

Martin Griffiths, the head of the UN humanitarian agency, denied before the Security Council on Monday that a ship involved in a Ukrainian grain export could have been involved in a drone strike against Russia.

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“Regarding the alleged hijacking of Initiative ships (from the Black Sea intended for Ukrainian grain exports, editor’s note) for military purposes, none of them were in the corridor on the night of October 29 at the time of the attack,” assured Martin Griffiths. .

“Corridors are just lines on a map: when the Initiative’s ships are not in the area, the corridor has no special status. It does not provide any cover or protection for offensive or defensive military action,” he added.

The JCC, which conducts ship inspections in Istanbul, announced the arrival of additional inspectors provided by Turkish and United Nations delegations: “ten teams” were to inspect forty ships bound for Ukraine on Monday.

The JCC on Sunday evening “informed” the Russian delegation that it had “obtained Ukraine’s agreement”: the latter assured that it “intended to continue dialogue with Turkey and the UN”.

“The delegation of the Russian Federation has also expressed readiness to cooperate remotely on points requiring an urgent decision,” the coordination center added.

After stopping on Saturday, eleven cargo ships could be inspected on Sunday.

Agreement on grain exports of Ukraine entered into force on 1er The August term ends on November 19. The UN has already sought its extension for a year.

It was possible to export more than 9.5 million tons of agricultural products from Ukraine, 40% of which to developing countries.

But Ukraine has denied any slowdown in activity on the Bosphorus, accusing Russia of dragging its feet on inspections.

According to the JCC, on Sunday, 112 cargo ships were waiting to be inspected from Istanbul, including 97 full holds from Ukraine.

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