A Connection Unsevered: Russia-Ukraine ‘Black Sea Initiative’

After receiving guarantees from Ukraine that it wouldn’t use the humanitarian maritime corridor for military purposes, Russia said it would resume its participation in the Black Sea grain initiative, a deal with Ukraine to enable crucial agricultural exports from the country via the Black Sea.

Russia withdrew from the agreement, which had been mediated by the U.N. and Turkey in July and was thought to help alleviate global food shortages and price increases, after accusing Ukraine of attacking its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea last Saturday.

According to a statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday, “it was possible to obtain the necessary written guarantees from Ukraine on the non-use of the humanitarian corridor and Ukrainian ports designated for the export of agricultural products for conducting military operations against the Russian Federation thanks to the participation of an international organization, as well as the assistance of Turkey.”

According to Russia, “the Ukrainian side officially assured that the maritime humanitarian corridor will only be used in compliance with the Black Sea Initiative provisions.”

Following a weekend announcement that caused havoc in the agricultural markets and skyrocketed prices, Russia agreed to resume the agreement allowing the safe passage of Ukrainian crop exports, sending wheat prices tumbling.

After receiving written guarantees from Ukraine that the safe-passage corridor will only be used for grain exports, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that Moscow is resuming its participation in the Black Sea grain-export agreement. Ukraine has reaffirmed time and time again that it will not utilize the corridor for military purposes.

“The Russian Federation considers that the guarantees received at the moment seem sufficient and resumes the implementation of the agreement – the Initiative for the safe transportation of grain and food from the ports of Ukraine (the “Black Sea Initiative”), suspended after the terrorist attack in Sevastopol”.