As the world struggles with an increasing food crisis, Moscow and Kyiv reached a deal Friday that will allow the safe export of grain and other products from Ukraine.
“Today, there’s a beacon at the Black Sea. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the Black Sea as a beacon for hope, possibility, and relief in a world that is more desperate than ever. “The question is not which side is better.
He said, “The focus was on what is most important for the peoples of our planet.” “And let’s not forget – this agreement is for the whole world.”
An agreement was reached between representatives from Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, which allows merchant ships to transport cargo through the Black Sea in the midst of Russia’s devastating war in Ukraine.
The UN chief stated, “Ladies and gentlemen this agreement was not easy.”
Guterres didn’t give any details about the agreement but stated that three Ukrainian ports (Odessa and Chernomorsk) will be open in the Black Sea for food exports.
Preliminary talks indicated that Russian President Vladimir Putin would accept a cease-fire in order to allow Ukrainian naval vessels and merchant ships to be escorted by Russian Navy vessels.
The Ukrainian navy vessels will be responsible for sweeping the waters in search of explosive mines. This is a precautionary measure after around 400 mines were fired into the Black Sea earlier this year by Russian forces.
Moscow also accused Kyiv that it had launched its own mines.
Turkey, which has played a key role in the hosting of the export negotiations, would inspect all ships to ease Russian concerns about arms smuggling.
To monitor security, the UN would also set up an office in Istanbul.
Guterres stated that the agreement “will provide relief for developing countries at the edge of bankruptcy and the most vulnerable persons on the edge of famine.”
He said, “It will stabilize global food prices, which were already at record highs even before the war – a nightmare for developing countries.”
At the signing ceremony, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined Guterres and asked for an end to the conflict in Ukraine.
He stated, “We have known from the beginning that there will not be a winner in this war.” “Not just the parties, but the entire world will suffer.”
Erdogan stated that he believes the Friday signing of the treaty will bring about a turning point in the war.
He said, “The war will end at the table,” and called on Moscow and Kyiv to resume diplomatic negotiations.