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On Russia's Decision Not to Renew the Grain Deal

The recent Russian decision to not extend the grain agreement mediated by Turkey and the United Nations has significant ramifications for international trade and food security. Although this action is in response to Ukraine's alleged damage of the Kerch Strait bridge, it was not entirely unprovoked.

It is essential to examine the circumstances surrounding the agreement and the justifications offered by Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to comprehend the legality of Russia's action. The grain agreement, which provided Ukraine with safe passage for its grain-laden ships through the mined and blockaded Black Sea ports, was not renewed, as Russia declared on July 17. The agreement's goals were to protect African interests and enable Ukraine to export its agricultural products worldwide.

Russia asserts that its choice wasn't made arbitrarily but as a result of broken promises and worries. President Putin had already mentioned the idea of terminating the agreement before the suspicious attack on the bridge over the Kerch Strait. He emphasised the need to consider Russian interests, which, regrettably, were not fully taken into account by the West, which was in charge of supporting Russian exports of grains and fertiliser.

Putin argued that the grain deal, which was supposed to help African nations, had little effect on Africa and instead had a positive economic impact on Russia's adversaries in the Ukraine and Western Europe. He presented data demonstrating that most of Ukraine's grain exports were made for Europe, with only a minor amount going to Africa.

Only 12% of the grain produced in Ukraine, according to the World Food Program, made it to Africa, while 40% went to Western Europe. The biggest consumers of Ukrainian grain were China, Spain, Turkey, Italy, and the Netherlands.

The majority of the grain, according to Russia's argument, went to upper-middle and high-income countries, with only a small portion ending up in low-income countries, despite the agreement's stated goal of assisting Africa's food security. Russia decided not to prolong the agreement in part due to this divergence with the initial goal of the arrangement.

It is critical to comprehend the circumstances and motivations behind Russia's choice, even though the consequences for the world economy and food security are unquestionably significant. Putin's allegations of broken promises and the inability of the accord to benefit Africa as planned cannot be completely disregarded. Although there are consequences to Russia's activities, they weren't entirely unprovoked or without prior notice.

To establish a lasting solution that benefits all stakeholders, including African countries, it is essential for all parties to engage in constructive engagement and address the issues brought up by Moscow. Together, the international community must ensure stable grain supplies and ethical business practises to advance global food security and economic growth.


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