Ukraine: UN and Turkish initiative on safe transportation of grain and food products from Ukrainian ports signed in Istanbul – Minister Kubrakov
Today an initiative on the safe transportation of grain and food products from Ukrainian ports has been finally signed in Istanbul. This was stated by Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov.
According to Kubrakov, it is about unblocking the three ports „Odessa“, „Chernomorsk“ and „Pivdenniy“. These ports are the first to launch food exporting by sea routes in the coming weeks:
„Undoubtedly, the signing of such a document on Ukrainian terms became possible exclusively thanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, whose successes allowed to defend key conditions for Ukraine, namely – to leave full control over the territorial waters of the North-Western region of the Black Sea.
Now about the document itself.
A Joint Coordination Center will be established under the auspices of the United Nations, which should include representatives of the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine, the United Nations and the Russian Federation, which have provided guarantees for the safe movement of vessels that will participate in the transportation of grain and food products from Ukrainian ports.
In order to comply with the agreement, inspection groups will be established in Turkey from among representatives of all parties, which will ensure the inspection of cargo and personnel going to or leaving Ukrainian ports. The inspection will take place exclusively in the harbors, at the entrance and exit of the Turkish Straits. Joint inspection will secure our ports against the entry of „Trojan horses“ disguised as civilian vessels.
Once again I emphasize that the activities and control in the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Pivdenniy will be carried out under the authority and responsibility of Ukraine. That is, the control of Ukrainian ports remains entirely with the Ukrainian side. Movement of any other vessels, except for those that should ensure the export of grain and related food products, is not envisaged.
The document will be valid for 120 days from the date of its signing and may be prolonged for the same period, unless one of the parties expresses its intention to terminate it.
What does it give Ukraine?
First of all, it is a great support for the Ukrainian economy. Over 20 million tons of grain have already been lying in the warehouses since last year, the new harvest is already waiting for export. If the president’s team had not succeeded in pushing this issue forward, the Ukrainian agrarians would have questioned the very need to sow the fields for the next year.
This is a huge direct foreign exchange earnings and a condition of stability of our state, which among other things will strengthen our economy and army.
What does this do for the world?
Ukraine’s working seaports are our contribution to global food security and the world economy. According to experts, the possibility of exporting Ukrainian grain will lower world food prices, thus slowing down the flywheel of inflation, which has become a problem for the whole world.
The blockade of Ukrainian seaports has put at least a billion and a half people around the world at risk, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres has repeatedly stated. In April, during a meeting in Kiev with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, this topic first received worldwide publicity. The president set the task to find a better solution, taking into account Ukraine’s security and defense challenges.
We could not have found a solution without the participation of the Head of the Office of the President, Andriy Yermak, and the Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov.
Today’s solution would not have been possible without the active, coordinated work of many state institutions with the participation and control of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and the government team of Prime Minister Denys Shmygal.
I am grateful to our partners from the United Nations and Turkey, who, despite Russian pressure, maintained a constructive stance and were united in their desire to help Ukraine and the world in this difficult situation.
This agreement gives us opportunities, but we do not stop working on the development of alternative routes of logistics and are ready for any scenarios – Kubrakov noted.