Highlights

  • Ukraine and Russia sign separate grain deals with UN
  • Deal will enable export of grains from Ukraine amid war
  • 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural products stuck in Black Sea ports

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Ukraine and Russia sign UN deal to enable grain export amid war

The deal will enable Ukraine — one of the world's key breadbaskets — to export 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural products that have been stuck in Black Sea ports due to Russia's invasion.

Russia and Ukraine signed separate agreements on Friday with Turkey and the United Nations clearing the way for exporting millions of tons of desperately needed Ukrainian grain — as well as Russian grain and fertilizer — ending a wartime standoff that had threatened food security around the globe.

The deal will enable Ukraine — one of the world's key breadbaskets — to export 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural products that have been stuck in Black Sea ports due to Russia's invasion.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called it “a beacon of hope” for millions of hungry people who have faced huge increases in food costs.

“A deal that allows grain to leave Black Sea ports is nothing short of lifesaving for people across the world who are struggling to feed their families," said Red Cross Director-General Robert Mardini, who noted that over the past six months prices for food staples have risen 187 per cent in Sudan, 86 per cent in Syria, 60 per cent in Yemen and 54 per cent in Ethiopia.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov signed separate, identical deals with Guterres and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar at a ceremony in Istanbul that was witnessed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Today, there is a beacon on the Black Sea,” Guterres said.

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“A beacon of hope, a beacon of possibility, a beacon of relief in a world that needs it more than ever.” “You have overcome obstacles and put aside differences to pave the way for an initiative that will serve the common interests of all,” he said, addressing the Russian and Ukrainian envoys.

The European Union immediately welcomed the agreements.

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