Russia’s war in Ukraine and fallout from Wagner insurrection

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The United Nations urged the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul to expedite the clearance of ships under the Black Sea grain deal that clears vessels to export Ukrainian grain.

No ships have been authorized to travel to Black Sea ports since June 26, according to a UN statement. Under the terms of the deal, Russian and Ukrainian inspectors must clear ships for passage. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of impeding the traffic.

“We note with concern that no new vessels have been allowed to join the Black Sea Initiative since 26 June despite the submission of 29 applications to the Joint Coordination Centre,” said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General. 

Only 13 ships remain in the Initiative, Haq said, and they are “either loading in the Ukrainian ports or on the move to or from Istanbul.”   

“Every day counts,” he said. “Without new ships entering the Black Sea Initiative, a million or more tonnes of food will remain stuck between now and the run-up to 17 July,” when the current deal expires.   

“The parties must ensure that additional vessels are allowed to sail the maritime humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea, which serves as a global lifeline for food security,” Haq went on to say, adding that the beginning of the harvest season “underscores the urgency.”  

Haq said that in June, 2 million tonnes of foodstuffs were exported, well below port capacity and industry demands. 

Some background: The Black Sea grain deal was first reached in July 2022.

Russia had been blockading vital grain exports from key Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which meant that millions of tons of Ukrainian grain were not being exported to the many countries that rely on it.

The impact of the war on global food markets was immediate and extremely painful, especially because Ukraine is a major supplier of grain to the World Food Programme. According to the European Commission, Ukraine accounts for 10% of the world wheat market, 15% of the corn market, and 13% of the barley market. It is also a key global player in the market of sunflower oil.

The Food and Agriculture Organization, a UN body, warned at the time that as many as 47 million people could be pushed into “acute food insecurity” because of the war. Western officials accused Russia of using food as a weapon.

The deal – brokered by the United Nations and Turkey with Russia and Ukraine – created procedures to ensure the safe export of grain from Ukrainian ports.

Sumber: www.cnn.com

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