Recognition…Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times

Russia’s strikes at the Black Sea port of Odessa on Saturday, just hours after signing the grain deal with Ukraine, are the clearest example of how complex and fragile the deal between the two warring factions is.

Here’s what you should know about the deal and whether Russian attacks on Odessa will affect it.

How is the operation supposed to go?

Ukrainian captains will steer ships loaded with grain from the ports of Odessa, Yuzhne and Chornomorsk. A joint command center with representatives from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations will be set up in Istanbul to monitor the movements of the flotillas.

The ships will enter Turkish waters to be inspected by officials, then deliver their cargo around the world and return for another inspection before returning to Ukraine. A key Russian demand was that the returning ships not be allowed to transport weapons to Ukraine.

The parties agreed that the ships and port facilities used for their operations would be protected from hostilities.

Note: The arrow marks the general direction of travel; it does not represent

exact route. Source: European and other government officials

Note: The arrow marks the general direction of travel; it does not represent

exact route. Source: European and other government officials

What are the risks?

No broad truce has been negotiated, so the ships will be transiting a war zone. Attacks near the ships or the ports they use — like those perpetrated by Russia on Saturday — have the potential to jeopardize the deal.

Another risk would be a breach of trust or a disagreement between inspectors and leaders.

The role of the United Nations and Turkey is to mediate such disagreements on the ground and to monitor and enforce the agreement. On Saturday, the United Nations condemned the strikes in Odessa and said in a statement that full implementation of the grain deal was “imperative”.

Will the missile attacks on Odessa ruin the deal?

Ukraine’s Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi said the strikes would hamper Ukraine’s efforts to export grain, noting in a phone interview that “if you attack one port, you attack everything”.

But although some of the destroyed infrastructure is “essential for processing all imports,” Mr Solskyi said Ukraine will proceed as if the grain deal were still in effect.

Did the strikes violate the agreement?

We do not know yet. It was unclear what the strikes were aimed at and whether grain infrastructure was affected.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the attack “cynical” and said on Saturday: “It was also a blow to the political positions of Russia itself.”

However, according to a senior UN official, Russia has not promised to avoid attacks on parts of Ukraine’s ports not directly used for grain exports. If there were military targets nearby, Russia may have tried to exploit a loophole.

But even if the strikes did not violate the letter of the deal, it seems clear that they violated the spirit of the deal. “All parties have made clear commitments at the global level to ensure the safe transportation of Ukrainian grain and related products to global markets,” the United Nations said in a statement on Saturday.

Recognition…Leszek Szymanski/EPO, via Shutterstock

What does Russia get out of it?

Russia is also a major exporter of grain and fertilizers, and the deal should make it easier to sell these commodities on the world market.

The Kremlin has repeatedly claimed that its stocks cannot be exported due to US and European Union sanctions. The measures will not affect these commodities, but private shipping companies, insurance companies, banks and other companies have been reluctant to help Russia export grain and fertilizers, fearing they could run afoul of sanctions or that doing business with Russia would make their could damage reputation.

Why is Ukrainian grain stuck in the country?

After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, it deployed warships along Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. Ukraine mined these waters to repel a Russian naval attack. This meant that the ports used to export Ukrainian grain were closed to merchant shipping.

Russia also robbed grain stores, mined grain fields so it could not be harvested, and destroyed grain stores.

Read Also :

US News

By malek00

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *