UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutierres, before signing documents within the framework of the initiative for the safe transportation of grain and food from Ukrainian ports, said that “the main attention in the preparation process was paid to what is more important for the people of the whole world.”
“It will bring relief to developing countries that are on the brink of bankruptcy and the most vulnerable people on the brink of starvation. And help stabilize world food prices, which were already at record levels even before the war,” he said on Friday in Istanbul .
“In particular, the initiative that we have just signed opens up trials for significant volumes of commercial food exports from three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea – Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny,” he said. At the same time, he stressed that “the shipment of grain and food supplies to world markets will help close the global gap in food supplies and reduce pressure on prices.”
The UN Secretary General acknowledged that “this agreement was not easy.” “From the very beginning of the war, I have emphasized that there is no solution to the global food crisis without ensuring full global access to Ukrainian food and Russian food and fertilizers. Today we have taken important steps towards this goal, but it has been a long way,” he said. .
He said, “We look forward to the Turkish government maintaining its decisive role going forward, and I assure that the United Nations will continue to be actively involved in the success of the agreement. We are stepping up efforts to ensure that the UN can fulfill their obligations.”
He also announced the creation of a joint coordinating center to monitor the implementation of the Black Sea initiatives.
According to Gutierres, as part of the initiative, “a task force led by the secretary general of the apparatus, Rebecca Greenspan, has focused its efforts on facilitating the unhindered access of food and fertilizer produced in the Russian Federation to world markets.”
“This is an unprecedented agreement between two sides involved in a bloody conflict. But conflicts continue, and people die every day, and fighting rages every day. The beacon of hope in the Black Sea today shines brightly thanks to the collective efforts of many people,” he said.
Ukraine, Turkey and Russia, with the support of UN Secretary General António Guteres, agreed to facilitate safe shipping for the export of grain, related food products and fertilizers (including ammonia) from the seaports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Pivdenny within 120 days from the possibility of extending this period.
The corresponding signing of documents within the framework of the initiative for the safe transportation of grain and food from Ukrainian ports took place in Istanbul on Friday: the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov, in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed a tripartite document with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and the UN Secretary General, who also signed a second such a tripartite document with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
As noted in the text of the initiative, a copy of which is available to the Interfax-Ukraine agency, it is based on agreements between the parties to the 1974 international convention on the safety of life at sea.
In particular, the parties agree on the following:
– maximum security guarantees for all vessels participating in this initiative;
– creation under the auspices of the UN in Istanbul of a joint coordination center (JCC), which includes representatives of all parties;
– Creation and work on the ships participating in the initiative of inspection teams from representatives of the parties, which will inspect the ships in the ports designated by Turkey, when entering / leaving the Turkish Strait to check the absence of unauthorized cargo and personnel on board.
At the same time, all activities in Ukrainian territorial waters will be under the control and responsibility of Ukraine.
The parties will not launch any attacks on merchant and civilian vessels, as well as on port facilities participating in this initiative.
If clearance of approaches to ports is required, a minesweeper from a third country must be involved
Merchant vessels must be pre-registered with the SKC and will be under technical control for the duration of their passage through the maritime humanitarian corridor agreed by all parties.
The RCC will develop and disseminate a detailed operational and communications plan, including the identification of safe havens and medical assistance options along the route.
In order to prevent provocations and incidents, the movement of vessels transiting the maritime humanitarian corridor will be remotely controlled by the Parties.
“No warships, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can approach the maritime humanitarian corridor closer than the distance agreed by the RCC without the permission of the RCC and only after consultation with all Parties,” the text of the initiative emphasizes.
This initiative will be valid for 120 days from the date of signing by all Parties and may be automatically renewed for the same period, unless one of the Parties notifies the other of its intention to terminate the initiative or change it.
At the same time, the achievement of an agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain does not mean a weakening of the security regime in the Black Sea, representatives of Ukraine have repeatedly emphasized.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is aiming to achieve the signing of an agreement on Ukrainian grain this week, Western media reported on Wednesday.
“As a result of the talks in Istanbul last week, an agreement was reached on the general outlines of the process within the framework of the UN plan. Now we want to consolidate this agreement by signing the document,” Erdogan said. He expressed the hope that the plan will begin to be implemented in the coming days.
At last week’s talks between Russia, Turkey, the UN and Ukraine on the export of Ukrainian grain, the participants agreed to establish a coordination center in Istanbul and reached an agreement on a system of joint grain control in ports.
Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Annalena Berbock said that she supports the proposal of the European Commission to appoint a central coordinator represented by the EU, who will buy grain in Ukraine and rationally distribute its exports through existing logistics channels.
She made the corresponding statement on July 18 after visiting the Romanian port of Constanta, which transships significant volumes of agricultural raw materials from Ukraine under the blockade of Ukrainian seaports, according to the Spiegel website.
“We should think about whether to buy up all (Ukrainian – IF-U) grain, so that later we can distribute it logistically much faster,” the German minister was quoted as saying.
Burbock recalled that due to the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports, Ukraine has accumulated 18 million tons of agricultural products ready for export. After four-party talks between Ukraine, the OO, Turkey and the Russian Federation, there is hope for the deblockade of Ukrainian export infrastructure in the Black Sea, but it is still important to look for alternative grain routes, for example, through Constanta.
As reported, on June 28, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved a draft agreement with the UN World Food Program (WFP) on the resumption of its office in the country, which will allow the organization, among other things, to purchase agricultural products from Ukrainian companies to carry out international humanitarian programs.
WFP is expected to participate in the purchase of agricultural and food products from Ukrainian companies for the needs of UN international humanitarian projects.
People’s Deputy Dmitry Solomchuk wrote in June that the uncertainty with the export of Ukrainian grain, leading to a global food crisis and rising food prices, can be resolved by buying last year’s and this year’s crops from Ukraine for a total of $30-35 billion through a specially created fund. This will contribute to the development of exports from the country and its internal processing in the agro-industrial complex, as well as provide the Ukrainian agricultural sector with working capital and the opportunity to continue working in the conditions of the military invasion of the Russian Federation.
Hungary is working on expanding the border checkpoints with Ukraine Chop-Zahony and Luzhanka-Beregshurani in order to equip corridors for the export of agricultural products bypassing Ukrainian seaports blocked by the Russian Federation.
This was announced by the Parliamentary State Secretary of Hungary Levente Madyar during a meeting with the head of the Transcarpathian Regional Council Volodymyr Chubirko, organized to address issues of current and future humanitarian support for Ukraine by Hungary.
For his part, the head of the Transcarpathian Regional Council promised, as far as possible, to assist in the implementation of all projects planned by Hungary for implementation in Ukraine, and presented the Hungarian official with world-famous stamps and a postcard on the theme of the Russian ship.
As reported, Ukraine, together with Hungary, intends to apply to the European Union to increase the throughput capacity of checkpoints on the Ukrainian-Hungarian border.
“We will apply together to the EU so that we can develop the capacity of transit corridors from both the Ukrainian and Hungarian sides. We are concerned about what the food supply of the world will be like as a result of the war … We are interested in the movement of goods to accelerate. This is not only the Hungarian , Ukrainian or European interest. This is a global interest,” Hungarian Agriculture Minister Ivstan Nadia said last week.
According to the Minister of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine Mykola Solsky, Slovakia and Hungary are logistics corridors in the European market that have not been developed, because Ukraine exported agricultural products mainly through the sea.
“We have fewer checkpoints on the border with Hungary than with Romania or Poland, so we plan to increase it and are already working on it,” the Ukrainian minister stressed.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky noted “certain progress in the negotiations in Turkey on the restoration of food exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea.
“We are indeed making significant efforts to restore food supplies to the global market. I am grateful to the UN and Turkey for their respective efforts,” he said Wednesday evening in a traditional video message.
“The success of this story is needed not only by our state, but, without exaggeration, by the whole world. If the Russian threat to shipping in the Black Sea is removed, this will alleviate the severity of the global food crisis,” Zelensky said.
“The Ukrainian delegation reported to me that there is some progress. In the coming days, we will discuss the details with the UN Secretary General,” he said in conclusion.