“These are Russian ships and Russian missiles that are blocking the export of crops and grain.”
European Council President Charles Michel. Ukraine, a major producer of the world's wheat, is largely unable to export goods because of the war with Russia. Meanwhile, Russia and Turkey have proposed a safe corridor through the Black Sea but Ukraine rejected their proposal, saying it was "not credible."
jun 9, 2022
- Why It Matters: Ukraine produces about 10% of the world's wheat but has been unable to export goods due to safety and infrastructure concerns during the ongoing war. The blocked flow of crops most impacts "emerging markets and poor countries that look to Ukraine and Russia for wheat supply,” threatening a worsened global food crisis for countries already struggling.
- Ukraine has major ports along the Black Sea; many of these are currently mined in order to prevent an attack along the coast, which is under a Russian blockade. Russia and Turkey proposed a safe corridor through the Black Sea for Ukrainian exports, but the plan was rejected due to a lack of trust that Russia would uphold its end of the bargain if Ukraine were to remove the deterring mines.
- Russia claims it would "take all necessary steps to ensure that the ships can leave there freely" and that they would not "abuse" the port if the mines were removed.
- Turkey's involvement: They would facilitate and protect grain exports during the transportation process. According to the Associated Press, "Turkey has other vested interests in helping to secure a deal: Ankara needs Moscow’s approval to continue its presence in northern Syria," where they hope to launch an attack against Syrian Kurdish militia that they consider a security threat.
- Following the proposal, Michel accused Russia of “weaponizing food supplies and surrounding their actions with a web of lies, Soviet-style.”
- The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “We cannot rule out Russia’s plans to use such a corridor to attack Odessa and southern Ukraine. That is why effective security guarantees are needed to restore shipping."
More bodies found in Mariupol as global food crisis looms (Associated Press)
Russia, Turkey back plan to export grains; Ukraine doubtful (Associated Press)