'Grain corridors' for 120 days: details of agreements signed in Istanbul

'Grain corridors' for 120 days: details of agreements signed in Istanbul

The agreement on exports of Ukrainian grain and other foodstuffs from Ukrainian ports, signed in Istanbul on July 22, will be valid for 120 days.

According to Ukrinform, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov said this in a Facebook post.

"The document will be valid for 120 days from the day of signing and can be extended for the same period if one of the parties does not notify of the intention to terminate its validity," he wrote.

He said that activity and control in the Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi would be carried out under the authority and responsibility of Ukraine. That is, control over Ukrainian ports remains entirely with the Ukrainian side.

"The movement of any other ships, except for those that are supposed to ensure the export of grain and food products related to it, is not envisaged," Kubrakov said.

"Undoubtedly, the signing of such a document on Ukrainian terms became possible solely thanks to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as their success helped defend the key conditions for Ukraine, namely ensuring full control over the territorial waters of the north-western part of the Black Sea. First of all, this is great support for the Ukrainian economy," he said.

Kubrakov also added that according to experts, the possibility of exporting Ukrainian grain would reduce world food prices, which will slow down the "flywheel" of inflation, which has become a problem for the whole world.

According to the agreements, all activities in Ukrainian territorial waters will be carried out under the authority and responsibility of Ukraine.

The agreement stipulates that a Joint Coordination Center (JCC) will be established in Istanbul under the auspices of the UN with the participation of representatives of Ukraine, Turkey, the UN and Russia. It will deal with general supervision and coordination of the implementation of the agreements; registration of vessels bound for unblocked Ukrainian ports, and the approval of transit schedules and ships entering ports.

In addition, special inspection teams are being created with the participation of all parties to check the vessels for the presence of unauthorized cargo and personnel on board. Such teams will work in harbors in the area of the Turkish Strait (Bosphorus Strait), which will be determined by the Turkish side.

The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine said that thanks to the agreement, Ukraine will be able to promptly export about 20 million tonnes of grain stored in its warehouses, make room for new crops, and also attract additional foreign currency proceeds to the economy.

In addition, more than 400 million socially and economically vulnerable people in Africa and Asia will receive food, without which they would be on the verge of starvation. The release of Ukrainian grain can also lower world food prices.

Today, due to the blockade of sea ports, which before the all-out invasion accounted for approximately 80% of the export of agricultural products of Ukraine, food is exported exclusively through the Danube ports, railway and road checkpoints on the western borders. But their capacities are not enough to quickly replace blocked seaports. In particular, the available opportunities allowed to export about 2.5 million tonnes of grain for the monthly need of 8 million tonnes in June.

The problem is also complicated by the insufficient number of infrastructure facilities for food storage and Russia's systematic attacks on existing warehouses. In this regard, farmers have limited opportunities to store the new crop and, accordingly, need to export from warehouses about 20 million tonnes of grain from last year's harvest.

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