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Black Sea Grain Deal: Russia pulled out of the UN-brokered agreement!

Black Sea Grain Deal: Relevance for UPSC


GS 1: Physical Geography
GS 2: Bilateral Groupings & Agreements, Effect of Policies & Politics of Countries on India’s Interests


Black Sea Grain Deal: Why in news?


Russia pulled out of the UN-brokered agreement on Saturday, alleging that Ukraine had used a safety corridor in the Black Sea to attack its fleet.


Black Sea Grain Deal: Background


  • After Russia invaded Ukraine, its navy imposed a blockade on Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, trapping about 20 million tonnes of grain meant for export inside the country, along with other foodstuffs such as maize and sunflower oil.
  • Since Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of food, this caused food prices to soar worldwide.
  • However, the two sides signed the Black Sea initiative on 22 July, allowing for a safe corridor for shipping.


Chart showing Ukraine export crops as % of total for each crop


Black Sea Grain Deal: What is the Black Sea Grain Deal?


The Maltese-flagged bulk carrier Rojen sails in Istanbul's Bosphorus

  • On 22 July, the UN, the Russian Federation, Türkiye and Ukraine agreed the Black Sea Grain Initiative, at a signing ceremony in Türkiye’s largest city, Istanbul.
  • The deal allowed exports from Ukraine of grain, other foodstuffs, and fertilizer, including ammonia, to resume through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor from three key Ukrainian ports: Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi, to the rest of the world.
  • To implement the deal, a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) was established in Istanbul, comprising senior representatives from the Russian Federation, Türkiye, Ukraine, and the United Nations.
  • According to procedures issued by the JCC, vessels wishing to participate in the Initiative will undergo inspection off Istanbul to ensure they are empty of cargo, then sail through the maritime humanitarian corridor to Ukrainian ports to load.
  • The corridor is established by the JCC and monitored 24/7 to ensure the safe passage of vessels. Vessels on the return journey will also be inspected at the inspection area off Istanbul.
  • Since Russia and Ukraine signed the UN-backed Black Sea Grain Initiative in Turkey on July 22, more than 9 million tonnes of corn, wheat, sunflower products, barley, rapeseed and soya have been exported.


Black Sea Grain Deal: Where has the food been sent through the Black Sea route?


  • Some food has gone directly to the poorest countries in the world, and some has been shipped to countries where people are at risk of starvation, under UN humanitarian relief programmes.
  • However, UN figures show that the bulk of Ukrainian food exported in the last three months has been going to Spain, Turkey, Italy, China and Netherlands.
  • In pre-war years, the top importers of Ukrainian wheat were Egypt, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
  • The UN said in September that just under 30% had gone to lower-income countries, while 44% had been shipped to high-income countries.
  • However, the resumption of Ukrainian food exports across the world helped to lower international food prices between July and the end of October, judging by the UN’s FAO food price index.


Black Sea Grain Deal: Why did Russia pull Out?


  • According to Russia, Ukraine has launched a massive drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea.
  • Russia also accused British troops of being involved in recent attack and blown out gas pipeline. Ukraine, so far, has denied all these allegations of the attack and called it move ‘rather predicatable’.


Black Sea Grain Deal: How Russia’s Pull Out will impact the world?


  • The deal has helped to avert the food crisis by exporting staple food and fertilizers from Ukraine to the rest of the world.
  • It has been touted as a very critical deal for bringing food security around the globe.
  • The global prices of food, which was eased earlier, will increase again and the inflation will import to other countries like India.


Black Sea Grain Deal: How could Ukraine export food without using the Black Sea?

Map showing routes for Ukrainian grain to ports in Romania and Baltic republics

  • When Russia blockaded Ukraine’s ports following it invasion in February, Ukraine tried to export as much produce as it could by land, using lorries and trains.
  • The EU set up what it called “solidarity lanes,” so that Ukrainian grain could be shipped from ports on the Baltic Sea, and also from the Romanian port of Constanta.
  • However, a lack of road and rail capacity means that Ukraine can export only 10% of its grain at most by land.

Analysis Of DTE Magazine: ”Russia-Ukraine War: Risk To Global Food Security”

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