Turkey has always held a strategic position in global trade from the time of traders traveling via the silk route to now helping Russia and Ukraine conduct their yearly trade during the conflict between the two countries with the help of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative
On 22ndJuly’22, the United Nations along with Turkey, brokered a safe maritime humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea between the conflicting countries, Russia and Ukraine.
Since the signing of the deal, over 400 ships that carried agricultural products (estimated at 11.08 million tonnes) had left from the three Ukrainian ports namely Chornomorsk, Odessa, and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi.
The deal was made in order to cater to the global food insecurity in the present scenario in the aftermath of the covid era and to curb the rising global grain prices but the backlogs at the ports still remained significant.
On 17thNovember’22, the Black Sea Grain Initiative was extended for another 120 days which was due to expire on 19thNovember’22 which has helped to ease the concerns over the backlogs at the ports. Since July’22, nearly 11.2 million tons of essential foodstuffs and agricultural products have been shipped for exports. However, as per the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan, 300,000 tons of Russian fertilizer remain stranded in various European ports. Ankara (capital city) said that it has been making efforts to pave the way for the resumption of Russian grain and fertilizer export to the world markets as well as to low-income countries.
Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned on 21st November ’22 that his country has planned to produce flour from Russian wheat for
free of cost exports to the least developed countries in the world. Erdogan said he had agreed with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin on this plan, as an effort would help to tackle the global food crisis, the semi-official Anadolu Agency reported.
Anadolu further quoted Erdogan saying”Mr. Putin made the following offer to me, ‘Let’s send this grain to the least developed countries, that is, to the poor countries for free.’ We agreed too,”. “We even made such a plan that we will buy the wheat if necessary, make it flour in Turkey, and then send it
to the least developed countries,” the Turkish president told reporters on his flight back from Qatar.
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