Written by on July 23, 2022

Ukraine and Russia on Friday signed a landmark deal aimed at relieving a global food crisis caused by blocked Black Sea grain deliveries, ending months of negotiations and sending wheat prices tumbling to levels last seen before Moscow’s invasion.

This is the first major deal both countries will be agreeing on since the February invasion by Russian forces, which has left the world in dire need of major UN intervention on food shortages owing to blocked grains export from Ukraine, a major supplier of grains to the world.

Meanwhile, The White House announced fresh support of around $270m to Kyiv, including $100m for drones, and is also doing preliminary work on whether to send fighter aircraft, although it said that would not happen in the near term.

Fighting rages on in Ukraine’s east. In a sign of how far away peace remains, Russian and Ukrainian representatives declined to sit at the same table and avoided shaking hands at the grain agreement ceremony.

The two sides eventually inked separate but identical agreements in the presence of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Istanbul’s lavish Dolmabahce Palace.

Guterres said moments before the signing;

Today, there is a beacon on the Black Sea – a beacon of hope, a beacon of possibility, a beacon of relief.

Turkish President, Erdogan, a key player in the negotiations, who has good relations with both Moscow and Kyiv, said the deal would hopefully revive the path to peace.

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