BBC News reports on the groundbreaking deal – signed by Russia and Ukraine – to aim to reduce the backlog of grain exports in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
Russia’s invasion in February has halted most of Ukraine’s grain exports. Around 20 million tonnes of grain are stuck in Ukrainian ports due to Moscow’s naval forces’ control of the Black Sea. As well as, heavy fighting leaving ports blocked and farms destroyed.
Cheap wheat, from Ukraine and Russia, are essential imports for some economies. The commodity shortages and price rises have already affected some countries in continents such as Africa.
The deal – which took two months to reach – with Turkey and the UN as co-guarantors, may have the potential to alleviate the looming global food crisis.
The agreement states that parties will not undertake an attack on a merchant and other civilian ships and port families engaged in the transport of wheat grain.
However, following the deal, Russia has fired missiles on Ukraine’s main port of Odesa, raising concerns that the deal may be hindered.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Moscow of “barbarism” following the attack, stating that they could not be trusted to fulfil the deal.
Russia has claimed its missiles were targeted at Ukrainian military vessels.