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Ceasefires need trust and for Ukraine-Russia’s grain exports deal that’s in scarce supply

This agreement, if you are optimistic, is a remarkable piece of diplomacy that should ease hunger in some the most impoverished parts of the world.

However, if you’re a pessimist the ink on this document may be ineffective in practice. Ukraine Russia is still locked in a ugly fratricidal conflict where suspicion and enmity know no boundaries.

The glass is half-full brigade has it for the moment.

The Black Sea Initiative agreement is a highly focused ceasefire at sea.

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The main port of Odesa in Ukraine will not be safe from hostilities. However, the areas that are needed to export grain will be.

A Joint Control Centre will oversee exports from an operational perspective. It is manned by four partners, the UN, Turkey Russia and Ukraine.

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The Ukraine will ensure that pilot ships are safe passages. To deter an amphibious Russian assault, the Black Sea has been heavily flooded. Russia will ensure that ships traveling to the Bosphorus or Turkish waters are not shot at.

Like all ceasefires, the real commodity is trust. Diplomacy or no diplomacy is in short supply.

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Why Ukraine’s grains matter so much

Russia is accused of using food as weapons in the conflict. This tactic was used to exacerbate the migrant crisis.

The argument is that large numbers of hungry Africans will arrive on the continent to support Ukraine’s war and supply of Western guns to help Kyiv fight.

Continue reading:

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Food as a weapon is also a strong argument for “partners,” especially in Africa, to support or at least not criticize its invasion of sovereign nations.

Of course, the Kremlin denies all of this and blames the West for the severe sanctions that have caused the current food crisis.

It doesn’t matter what, it is easy to see how fragile this agreement could fall apart.

It will be not just the Ukrainian farmers that pay, but also millions of people struggling to make a living in a global cost of living crisis.

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