A global affairs analyst, Mr Emesakoru Enifome, has blamed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for deepening the global food crisis.
According to him, the current food insecurity was due to the blockade of seaports and deliberate destruction of Ukrainian agricultural infrastructure and logistics.
In a statement on Monday in Abuja, Enifome noted that because of the war, Ukrainian forecasts of agricultural exports in 2022 will be much more modest compared to the previous year.
Nevertheless, he stated that up to 70 million tons are expected to be harvested in the coming months.
The statement entitled, ‘Ukraine is fully prepared to export its grain via the Black Sea and is determined to ease the global food crisis’ reads: “As Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized, Ukraine is strongly committed to start exporting grain via the Black Sea ASAP and is not blocking or delaying it by any means.
“Ukraine is already fully prepared to resume the process. Ukraine look forward to a signal to start from her partners (representatives of the United Nations and Türkiye), who have to ensure that security matters beyond Ukrainian control are finalized.
“The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine is in direct contact with the UN and the Turkish side, which, in their turn, are in contact with Russia.
“In total, in the Odesa and Chornomorsk seaports, seventeen vessels have been loaded with Ukrainian grain and ten of them are ready to depart (for the first time since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion on February 24).
“On July 29, at the Chornomorsk Sea Trade Port, the President of Ukraine accompanied by the diplomatic corps personally inspected the loading of a grain carrier (Turkish vessel) intended for delivery of Ukraines food export to its foreign customer.
“Considering earlier Russias assaults, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are doing excellent job on protecting our coast, our ports and adjacent Ukrainian maritime territories.
“With no exception, Ukraine has fully fulfilled its obligations, and now Ukraine expect the same from Russia.
“Hence, Kyiv welcome the establishment of the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul that conducts general oversight and coordination of the Initiative on the Safe Transportation of Grain and Foodstuffs from Ukrainian Ports.
“Ukraine signed an agreement with Türkiye and the UN and undertook obligations to them. Russia signed a mirror agreement with Türkiye and the UN.
“The Initiative is aimed at the removal of blocking the maritime export of Ukrainian agricultural products.
“In particular, it has been agreed that all parties will provide maximum assurances regarding a safe and secure environment for all vessels engaged in this Initiative.
“The parties committed do not undertake any attacks against merchant vessels and other civilian vessels and port facilities engaged in this Initiative. T. is also an obligation that no military ships, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) may approach the maritime humanitarian corridor closer than a distance agreed by the Join Command Center.
“As of now, about 20 million tons of grain are in stock for export from the previous year’s Ukraines yield. They are at stake in Russias global famine game in a shameful desire to use the international threat of growing hunger as a leverage in pushing forward Russias self-focused interests and promoting its neocolonial foreign policy agenda.
“Ukraine believe it is unacceptable to hold hostage nations in need of external food supplies, especially by the UN SC permanent member.
“Thus, Ukraine call the international community to engage and to prevent any breach or provocation by Russia. Last time, it took less than 24 hours for the Russian Federation to launch a missile attack on the port of Odesa to undermine the agreements and break the promises it made to the UN and Türkiye under the document signed in Istanbul.
“In its turn, Ukraine has always been and is committed to remain one of the key and 100% reliable food supplier for the world. According to USDA data based on 2021/2022 performance, Ukraine is accountable for more than 10% of all wheat worldwide export, 14% – of all corn, 17% – of all barley and 47% – all sunflower oil.
“Before the war, Ukraine exported 5-6 million tons of agricultural products on a monthly basis; 90% of this volume was exported from seaports in the Black Sea and the Azov Sea. Shipments were put on hold because of Russias sea blockade with its fleet and mines, continuous missile assaults and threats of landings.
“After the Istanbul documents have been signed, Ukraine expect safe maritime humanitarian corridors being provided.
“Because of the war, the occupation of part of Ukraine territories and shelling, Ukrainian forecasts of agricultural exports in 2022 will be much more modest compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, up to 70 million tons are expected to be harvested in the coming months.
“Ukraine need urgently to free up space for them in our grain elevators and silos in order to be able to contribute further to easing the world food crisis.
“The resumption of Ukraine’s grain export is necessary for ensuring worlds economic stability, overcoming sharp increases in prices and mitigating the effect of the food crisis for the most vulnerable people in Africa and Asia.
“Russia’s agricultural products and their export are not affected by EU and US sanctions. EU Member States can grant access to EU ports for vessels flying the Russian flag.
“T. is no ban on entry to the EU for Russian road carriers, when they import or transport agricultural products, including fertilizers and wheat. The US has also carefully avoided targeting Russia’s agricultural trade with sanctions imposed for invading Ukraine.
“Thus, t. are no impediments for Russia to contribute its share to the international agriculture market and no good reason to demand the lift of sanctions for the benefit of global food security.”
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