Turkey will host talks on Wednesday in a bid to break the stalemate surrounding the export of grain shipments from Ukraine.
Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday that military representatives from Turkey, Russia and Ukraine are meeting with a UN delegation to discuss “the safe shipment of grain waiting in Ukrainian ports to international markets by sea.”
Europe bread basket
While the conflict remains confined within Ukraine’s borders, its impact on food security is truly global.
According to the statement, the Black Sea basin is one of the most important regions in the world for grain production and agricultural production World Food Program. As such, the consequences of the conflict have increased pressure on resources and access to food for countries around the world.
Ukraine, known as the “breadbasket of Europe”, was the fifth largest wheat exporter on the world market last year. according to Report Published by the World Food Program earlier this month, Ukraine’s export capacity is now about one-sixth of what it was before the war.
The World Food Program said it was “closely coordinating with the main actors (EU member states and international financial institutions) on ways to improve grain export from Ukraine using all options: road, rail, river and sea.
Last month The World Food Program warned The “cascading effects” of conflict will push millions of people in countries around the world into poverty and hunger.
The crisis has a devastating impact on poor countries such as Egypt And the Somaliawhich gets about 80% and 90% of its wheat, respectively, from Russia and Ukraine and has experienced massive price increases since the start of the conflict.
“The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the already steady rise in food and energy prices around the world, which is already affecting economic stability in all regions,” said the report published by the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 6 June. .
The Russian invasion came on February 24 after the winter wheat crop was planted, meaning it was now ready for harvest. But the agricultural industry paralyzed Through many factors.
The war displaced millions of Ukrainians, which had enormous repercussions on manpower. Meanwhile, the remaining farmers face numerous challenges. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Moscow of engaging in scorched-earth tactics that have destroyed huge amounts of crops, stores and machinery, while also posing the threat of missiles and unexploded ordnance strewn across the fields.
The Russian bombing destroyed dozens of silos and some of the largest export terminals. One of the largest – in the southern city of Mykolaiv – contained about 250 thousand tons of grain before it was burned in June.
In addition, some analysts say there are challenges in obtaining diesel fuel due to the destruction of refineries, which means that some crops cannot be harvested.
Russia has closed the Black Sea ports, which means that grain that has already been harvested cannot be exported internationally. The United Nations said the blockade has already raised global food prices and threatens to cause catastrophic food shortages in parts of the world.
according to Ukrainian Ministry of InfrastructureBefore the invasion, about 80% of Ukraine’s grain was exported from its Black Sea ports. Exports now leave the country exclusively via the Danube, access to which became possible after Ukrainian forces recaptured Snake Island from Russian forces in June. Ukraine hopes to speed up exports via this route.
Ukraine also accused Russia of stealthy removing the supplies and passing them on as Russian grain. Russian operators Transporting grain at sea In an apparent attempt to conceal its source, according to satellite images reviewed by CNN, merchant ships are turning off their transponders. Russia has repeatedly denied stealing grain or closing the ports.
Some of what would have been a Ukrainian product is now in the territories controlled by the Russians and their allies in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). The leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denis Bushlin, recently said that the wheat harvest there will be much higher than it was in 2021.
What are the goals of the talks?
No specific details have been released. But Reuters spoke to unnamed diplomats who referred to those elements the plan Discussion includes Ukrainian ships routing grain ships in and out of mined port waters; Russia agrees to a truce during the transportation of shipments; And Turkey – with the support of the United Nations – is inspecting ships to allay Russia’s fears of arms smuggling.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday stressed the role of the United Nations in the talks and the need for “a solution that guarantees the security of our country’s southern regions,” spokesman Oleg Nikolenko told Reuters.
Reporting by Tim Lister, Pietro Zadorogni, Vasco Cutovio and Isil Sarios
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