When Russia bombed the port in Odesa last week, it was not an auspicious beginning to the new deal on grain exports. If anyone believed that this agreement between Moscow and Kyiv would have some positive spillover effect on the war grinding on elsewhere in Ukraine, the Russian military surely destroyed that wishful thinking.
International outcry against the Russian bombing of Odesa—as with its earlier strikes on shopping malls, train stations, and hospitals—has been fierce. “Striking a target crucial for grain export a day after the signature of Istanbul agreements is particularly reprehensible & again demonstrates Russia’s total disregard for international law & commitments,” tweeted Josep Borrell Fontelles, who coordinates the European Union’s foreign policy.
Despite Russia’s action, the agreement on grain exports will likely hold. After all, Russia didn’t technically violate the accord. The Kremlin promised only to avoid hitting the ships carrying food to the outside world.
More importantly, the deal has been designed to benefit all sides. Ukraine needs the export earnings from the approximately 22 million tons of wheat, corn, and other products in its warehouses, and it has to get rid of this surplus to make way for this year’s harvest. Turkey will make money facilitating the transport …read more
Source:: Institute for Policy Studies