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19 Jul. 2023

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What are the unobvious consequences for Ukraine and the world of russia's withdrawal from the grain deal and who else has opposed Ukrainian grain exports?

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What are the unobvious consequences for Ukraine and the world of russia's withdrawal from the grain deal and who else has opposed Ukrainian grain exports?

russia's withdrawal from the grain deal could not only lead to another food crisis, but also have other negative consequences. Find out why russia manipulates grain, what it demands, and why other countries oppose Ukrainian exports

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"The "hunger games" that russia has been playing throughout the full-scale invasion, first by blocking Ukrainian ports and later by repeatedly disrupting the grain corridor, are yet another proof that global security, including food security, is of no importance to the aggressor country. However, it is difficult to ignore the selfish goals pursued by russia by breaking the agreement on the safe export of Ukrainian grain. 

We have previously discussed why Ukrainian grain is important to the world here. However, what is russia's goal, what are the unclear consequences for the world and Ukraine in particular, and which countries opposed the export of Ukrainian grain and why - read more in our article.


What conditions has russia set for the continuation of the grain corridor?


Despite the fact that russia's announcement of its withdrawal from the grain agreement came immediately after the attack on the Crimean bridge, russia made its first demands back in May. In 2023, the russian Foreign Ministry published "conditions for the continuation of the grain corridor" on its website, and if they were not met, the aggressor country threatened to terminate the agreement. In particular, it was about:

● Lifting of sanctions on the supply of spare parts for agricultural machinery, russian companies producing agricultural products and fertilizers, as well as russian ships banned from entering ports.

● Restore the operation of the ammonia pipeline that runs through the territory of Ukraine and connects Togliatti and Odesa.

● russian banks joining the SWIFT system.


It should be noted that russian authorities have also expressed dissatisfaction with the countries to which Ukraine exports grain. For example, russia tried to accuse Ukraine of the fact that the southern countries that need grain the most hardly ever receive it, and all exports go to high- or middle-income countries. However, russia's provocations and attempts to blame Ukraine for the food crisis only emphasize the absurdity of the aggressor country's actions and selfish intentions.


What are the non-obvious consequences of russia's withdrawal from the grain agreement?


Another artificially created food crisis that will lead to higher prices and hunger in poor countries is one of the most predictable consequences. however, it is important to take into account what russia was actively working on before the start of the grain corridor and during the agreement. 

In particular, russia's steps were aimed at intercepting Ukrainian grain export contracts with other countries and removing Ukraine from the global grain market. It is worth noting that the aggressor country was quite skillful in this task, because even after the grain corridor started working, buyers began to refuse Ukrainian grain because the vessels underwent multi-step checks and inspections, which delayed the delivery of products. Thus, Ukraine's share and role in the global market declined significantly, and russia gained new leverage and a way to make money. And traditionally, these funds will go to the military sector of the aggressor country.

At the same time, russia's withdrawal from the grain agreement may have positive consequences for Ukraine. For example, the inability to export grain by sea will be a key incentive for the active development of alternative routes, including rail, road and river exports through the Danube. However, the opportunities provided by these routes are still difficult to compare with exports by sea.




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Which countries have stated that they will interfere with Ukrainian grain exports and why?


In addition to Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have announced that they will extend the ban on grain imports from Ukraine. It is also important that even russia's withdrawal from the grain agreement did not affect their decision, and the risk of a global food crisis did not exceed the domestic risks stated by the authorities of these countries.

In addition, Slovak Minister of Agriculture Josef Biresh emphasized that on July 19, a meeting of representatives of 5 countries that support the extension of the agricultural embargo will be held. During the meeting, they will not only agree on the extension of the ban, but also discuss the extension of the embargo to other goods.

"We support Ukraine in every way possible, but on the condition that food imports cannot distort the domestic market. We are harvesting, and some of our warehouses are overcrowded due to previous grain imports," - said Bires.


So, in the near future it will be known whether the European Commission will support the extension and expansion of the embargo on Ukrainian products, and what alternative ways Ukraine will have to look for. In addition, it is known that the UN has sent letters to russia demanding to extend the grain corridor, but it is difficult to say whether the aggressor country will do so without receiving positive changes in the conditions announced in May.


We remind you! The Ukrainian Armed Forces are making progress in almost all areas of the frontline, but the pace of the counteroffensive is slower than expected. We explained why the de-occupation of the territories requires more time and what the key problem of the Ukrainian troops is in our previous article.


Photo: Depositphotos




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