Ukraine and Russia have just signed, this Friday, July 22, an agreement on the export of Ukrainian cereals to the Black Sea, with the help of Turkey and the UN, during a historic ceremony between countries in war.
A hard-won agreement. While cereal exports had been greatly reduced since the start of the war in Ukraine, invaded by Russia, the two countries – which represent 30% of the world wheat trade between them – finally reached an agreement this Friday.
Tons of wheat piled up in Ukraine
Negotiated since April under the impetus of the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, this agreement should considerably relieve all the countries dependent on the Russian and Ukrainian markets, like England or France.
So much so that the head of the UN went in person to the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul to attend the signing of this agreement, not without thanking Russia and Ukraine in passing, capable of “overcoming their differences to make room for an initiative at the service of all”.
The agreement will be valid for “120 days”, or four months, the time to get out the approximately 25 million tonnes piled up in silos in Ukraine as a new harvest approaches.
A great victory, while 47 million additional people have been exposed to “acute hunger” since the start of the war, according to the World Food Program (WFP).
The agreement “must be implemented”
And António Guterres testified to the “unprecedented” nature of this agreement concluded between two countries at war, he however stressed the importance that it be “fully implemented”.
The agreements signed by Ukraine, Russia, Turkey & @A are a critical step in overcoming the global food insecurity caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
EU remains committed to help #Ukraine bring as much of its grain into global markets as possible.
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) July 22, 2022
“The Istanbul agreement is a step in the right direction to overcome food insecurity caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We call for its rapid implementation”, also indicated the head of diplomacy of the European Union Josep Borrell on his Twitter account.
The European Commission has also given the green light to extend in 2023 derogations on the environmental rules concerning fallow land and crop rotation, in order to allow the EU27 to strengthen their cereal production in the face of the impact of the war in Ukraine.