On top of the enduring, unthinkable human tragedy, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also triggered a series of economic and humanitarian crises felt across the globe, not least that concerning global food supplies. As part of their efforts to crush Ukrainian independence and exert pressure on Kyiv’s international supporters, Russia has blocked and mined Ukraine’s pivotal Black Sea, disrupting grain exports crucial to ensuring global food security. Ukraine is one of the most important suppliers of various agricultural and food items necessary to ensure global food supplies, particularly in African and Middle Eastern countries.
With the Kremlin actively using the threat of mass starvation and a new migration crisis to improve its political and military positions, the recent landmark agreement aimed at protecting the export of Ukrainian wheat, corn, barley, sunflower oil, other food products and fertilizers onto the world market is seen as a crucial step in staving off a major global crisis.
Indirectly signed between Ukraine and Russia with Turkish and UN mediation on 22 July, the “Grain Deal” has been hailed as a remarkable achievement by the UN as it looks to ease key supply risks on the global food market and avoid a major humanitarian catastrophe. However, with no end to the war in sight, it is yet to be seen whether Russia will honour the deal’s provisions and make it a reliable instrument for global food security.
Below, Aretera provides further insight into this landmark deal, Ukraine’s global significance as a food producer, potential post-agreement scenarios as the Russian aggression continues and implications for international businesses.