Russia agrees to (shorter) grain deal extension


Russia has agreed to extend the Black Sea grain deal with Ukraine, but for only 60 days rather than the 120 days of the original agreement. The UN-brokered 2022 deal, due to expire March 18, enables the safe shipment of grain from Ukraine’s blockaded ports to boost global supply and stabilize prices. The agreement rolled over in November, but Russia has since argued that the “second part of the deal”—the easing of restrictions on its own agricultural and fertilizer exports—has not been met. Consultations are continuing, the UN says. So far, 24 million tonnes of grain have been exported under the initiative.

But the International Rescue Committee noted that only 10% has gone to five countries most in need—with China and Spain instead the largest recipients. It has called on the UN to broker a 12-month deal to help ease global hunger, pointing out that food price inflation is at 40% in countries most at risk of “humanitarian catastrophe”—double the rate of the rest of the world.

From The New Humanitarian, March 17

Russia is accused of weaponizing wheat, as the war and disruption of Ukrainian exports have resulted in a global food and energy crisis.

Map: PCL

  1. Another reprieve for Black Sea grain deal

    Russia has agreed to a two-month extension of the Black Sea grain deal that allows safe passage for Ukrainian maize and wheat to world markets. Questions had hung over the survival of the Turkish- and UN-brokered agreement after Russia threatened to bow out. Moscow argues a separate deal, to facilitate the shipments of Russian food and fertiliser, has not been upheld. (TNH) There are no sanctions on Russian exports of food and fertilisers to global markets but the problems are related to the secondary sanctions imposed on shipping and insurance companies as well as banks. (SCMP)

  2. Russia pulls out of the Black Sea grain deal

    Moscow on July 17 announced that it is pulling out of the agreement that had allowed Ukraine to export its grain by sea despite a wartime blockade, a deal seen as essential to keeping global food prices stable. The agreement, known as the Black Sea Grain Initiativeand brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, expired that day following the latest in a series of short-term extensions. (NYT)

  3. Russia bombs Odessa grain facilities

    As Russia resumes its blockade of ships carrying food from Ukraine, its military bombarded Odesa and the adjoining port of Chornomorsk—specifically targeting infrastructure for grain exports such as warehouses and loading equipment, Ukrainian officials said. (NYT)

  4. UN condemns Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports

    The UN Secretary-General António Guterres released a statement on July 20 condemning the Russian attacks against Odessa and other Ukrainian ports. The attacks on civilian infrastructure may be a violation of international humanitarian law, Guterres emphasized. (Jurist)

  5. Ukraine investigating Odesa strikes as potential war crimes

    Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General announced Aug. 4 it will investigate whether recent Russian attacks on Odessa and other Black Sea ports constitute war crimes, according to a report from Reuters. The strikes hit export terminals for grain, a key food source for some of the world’s poorest countries. (Jurist)