Ukrainian grain: How to Lift Russia's Black Sea Blockade?
The long term impacts of war manifest themselves in various ways. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 25 million tons of grain are stored in silos at Ukrainian ports. From the beginning of the war, the Russian Black Sea Fleet took control of the northern Black Sea. The Russian fleet operated independently near the Ukrainian coast until Ukraine engaged and sank the cruiser Moskva with two Neptune anti-ship missiles. The Moskva incident also made clear that the Russian fleet has some problems defending against anti-ship missiles, and Ukraine built a layered surface defence by acquiring land-based Harpoon missiles from Denmark, Brimstone missiles from the United Kingdom, and RBS-17 (or Robot-17) missiles from Sweden.
Further measures are needed to break the blockade and open traffic for the transport of Ukrainian grain. The worst-case scenario in the Russian-Ukrainian war is a possible hot contact between Russia and NATO. There are several opinions and theories on the use of NATO warships to escort cargo ships to get the grain from Ukrainian ports, as well as to clear the sea mines in the region, but several issues are needed to be considered. The French presidency reportedly declared on Friday it was ready to participate in an “operation” allowing to lift the blockade of Odesa. It is clear that Putin is using the food crisis as a weapon.
In this case, the United Nations might be the right address to overcome this crisis. The most sensible address for the command of such a naval force seems to be Turkey. Everyone should realize that this is a humanitarian crisis, no matter what the cause.
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