On July 22, agreements were signed in Istanbul on the unblocking of the three Ukrainian ports – Odesa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny for the export of grain and food products.

In this regard, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres indicated that the documents signed under the auspices of the UN “open the way for the commercial export of food from Ukraine to the Black Sea, which will help avoid the catastrophe of food shortages for millions of people around the world”.

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, said that “our state and the whole civilized world have reached an important agreement – there is an agreement that allows Ukrainian ports to be unblocked and Ukrainian agricultural exports to be restored. Russia did everything to not just close Ukraine’s access to the sea, but to destroy the very potential of our exports – part infrastructure, railways, warehouses and elevators. We didn’t allow it”.

As Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Mustafa Nayem added on this issue, this is an opportunity for farmers to export this year’s harvest and have funds for preparation for the next sowing. In addition, this is almost a billion dollars of foreign exchange revenue every month, which will go to support the economy and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Experts point out that “this is not an act of goodwill on the part of the Russians. This is a forced concession of the occupiers, who could not hold Zmiiny and are forced to retreat before the threat of world hunger”. At the same time, it is added that “the prospect of an agreement on ending the blockade of Ukrainian ports and resuming grain exports led to a noticeable drop in grain prices”.

It is noteworthy that Russian propaganda indicates that the allegedly signed agreements provide for the involvement of the UN in the reassessment of “unilateral sanctions mechanisms” regarding the export of grain from Russia, but such sanctions do not currently exist.

The signed documents, in their published text, do not provide permission to transfer grain from the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine, including the Crimea, and do not provide for any cessation of hostilities in the zone of Russian invasion.

We will remind that the blockade of Ukrainian ports during the Russian aggression led to the approval of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) resolution C/ES.35. As part of the monitoring mechanism of this document, our Association sent a number of reports regarding violations of international maritime and humanitarian law by the aggressor to UN institutions, including the aforementioned ILO, as well as the International Labor Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, bodies of the UN’s Human Rights Council.

It is worth noting the constructive and balanced position of UN structures on these issues, which was obviously reflected in the negotiation process in Turkey.