Ukraine and Russia have signed a deal to allow much-needed exports of grain to resume from Ukraine's Black Sea ports. The resumption should ease a world shortage of wheat that has left millions of people in Africa and India at risk of hunger. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has also resulted in a global rise in food prices. Millions of tons of grain are currently waiting for export at ports. The deal to allow exports should ease the pressure on food prices. Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov signed the deal at a ceremony in Istanbul. Turkey's President Erdogan helped to broker the agreement.
The sides took two months to reach the deal, after intensive negotiations. It is set to last for 120 days. Ukraine has warned that any Russian provocation could put the deal in jeopardy. This has already been tested after Russian forces attacked the Black Sea port of Odesa within 24 hours of the deal being penned. Mr Shoigu told reporters that the deal might facilitate the export of more products. He said: "I'm not talking about beginning only the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports, but also the export of agricultural products and fertiliser from Russian ports." The US said more exports were needed, "to prevent the world's most vulnerable from sliding into deeper food insecurity and malnutrition."
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