Grain deal: what does the resumption mean?

The agreement on grain exports from Ukraine via the Black Sea is back in force. Russia unilaterally suspended its participation on 30 October on the grounds that Ukrainian drones had attacked the Black Sea Fleet. Moscow has explained that after mediation by Turkey, Ukraine has agreed to use the humanitarian corridor and the ports only for food exports.

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Respekt (CZ) /

Ankara's courage vis-à-vis Putin is irreplaceable

Respect praises Turkey for its key role in ensuring that Putin's attempt at blackmail failed:

“Russia has become increasingly dependent on good relations with Turkish ruler Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Vladimir Putin needs the Turkish trade gateway to the world. ... Erdoğan has made bold use of his power because maintaining the maritime agreement that he and the UN brokered is also in his own interest. Food prices in Turkey have almost doubled year-on-year, and the deal's failure would push them further. A large part of the Ukrainian harvest ended up in Turkey. Erdoğan faces elections next year. The economic crisis is his weak point.”

Handelsblatt (DE) /

Deprive Russia of this lever

The purpose of the agreement, namely to make exports to poorer countries possible, no longer exists anyway, and it should therefore simply be allowed to expire, writes Handelsblatt:

“The principal countries buying Ukrainian wheat since July have been Spain, Italy, Turkey, China and the Netherlands. The grain probably ends up being used as animal feed on farms. In the past, it was mainly relatively poor countries like Egypt, Indonesia and Bangladesh that bought their grain from Ukraine, who have apparently long since been getting their grain from other sources. In addition, Ukraine has expanded its export opportunities via land routes. ... This means that no one needs to fear a renewed crisis on the world markets. But Russia would lose one of its last political levers in the conflict with Ukraine.”