بوتين يعتقد أنه يستطيع الصمود أكثر من الغرب. أ.ف.ب

The continued shipment of food from Ukraine is a victory for all

When Russia bombed the port of the Ukrainian city of Odessa last week, it was not an auspicious start to the new grain export pact. And if anyone believed that this agreement between Moscow and Kiev would have any positive effect on the grinding war going on elsewhere in Ukraine, the Russian military certainly destroyed this wishful thinking. The West strongly criticized Russia for its bombing of civilian sites in Ukraine, and the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a tweet that “Russia’s bombing of any target related to the export of grain shows the extent of Russia’s disregard for international law.”

Despite the Russian bombing, the grain export agreement is expected to continue, as Russia has not violated the agreement in practice. The Kremlin has vowed to avoid bombing ships carrying food to other countries.

All parties benefit from the agreement

Most importantly, this agreement is in everyone’s interest, as Ukraine sells its 22 million tons of grain and food stocks and empties its warehouses for this year’s crops, and Russia eases the pressure of sanctions on agricultural exports. Turkey will make money by facilitating the export process at sea. Russia is benefiting from improving the reputation of its naval fleet, which has been damaged due to its blockade of Ukrainian ports to prevent the export of foodstuffs to the world. Russia is facing accusations that it is using food as a weapon by accusing the West of being responsible for the global food crisis as a result of the sanctions imposed on Russia, so Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov toured Africa to promote the views of the Kremlin.

The implementation of the grain export agreement in which Turkey played the mediating role will take some time until its implementation, as a monitoring system will be installed aimed at making sure that Ukrainian ships do not carry any weapons but only foodstuffs, in and out. And there are sea mines close to the port of Odessa that must be avoided or removed, and accordingly the countries of the Middle East and Africa must wait before the arrival of the Ukrainian and Russian grain on which they depend for a long time. Significantly last March, after the war in Ukraine.

Amazing price hike

Astonishing price hikes have taken people onto the streets all over the world, from Peru to Palestine and Indonesia. The government of Sri Lanka, which ruled the country for two decades, fell as a result of the unprecedented economic crisis in the country. There are 18 million people in the African Sahel countries at risk of starvation as a result of reduced harvests, while about 13 million face severe drought in the Horn of Africa. Of course, the United Nations World Food Program was helping them, but the program buys about half of its wheat needs from Ukraine, but who is responsible for their plight?

In fact, food prices have started to rise since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, and other factors such as high fertilizer prices, energy prices, and low crop volumes as a result of problems related to climate change have contributed. Another factor that is not much known is financial speculation. After food prices soared between 2007 and 2008, the Institute for International Food Policy Research published an analysis that could prove ominous.

This analysis indicates that the flow of speculative capital from financial investors to the agricultural commodity markets was sharp, and the number of traded contracts in the future increased with time. In the period between May 2007 and May 2008, the volume of traded contracts relating to cereals increased significantly. Excessive speculation in the commodity futures market can, in principle, raise prices through “arbitrage” opportunities (i.e. selling the commodity in two places each at a different price) where such a rise is not justified by the law of supply and demand.

Boosting Putin’s Gains

The recent drop in prices, after the rise that occurred last March, proves that “excessive speculation” really played an important role. So far, goods have not come out of Ukraine or Russia, so the decline has to do with expectations that the next recession will reduce demand, so the law of supply and demand does not play an important role here.

Since the beginning of the war, Putin has intended to reduce Ukraine’s ability to trade in food commodities, and those close to him say he believes he can withstand more than the West in this war, as the West will eventually have to bow to public opinion after months of high energy prices. Russian economist Sergei Guriev, a former head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, believes that Putin “intended to raise food prices in the Middle East, because that would lead to destabilization and an increase in the flow of refugees.” And former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev admitted that Russia Food was a weapon when he wrote last April, “Many countries depend on our supplies for their food security, and our foodstuffs turned out to be a silent, but effective weapon, and it seems that the food weapon was not a Russian invention but was used by other countries before it.” .

The war will end without a decisive victory for either side

So Putin needs to resume selling grain, salvage Russia’s reputation as a major supplier of foodstuffs, and consolidate any gains that can be made from the areas the Russian military has taken in Ukraine.

Certainly, this war will end without achieving a significant victory for any party, as Russia will not be able to occupy all of Ukraine, and Ukraine will not be able to deprive Russia of all its gains, but it will end if the two sides can declare their victory. At this time, as war continues to rage in one of the main regions of the world to secure food for the world, the process of shipping food to poor and hungry regions is a victory for all.

Jon Pfeffer, Director of Foreign Policy in Fox


Russia faces great challenges

Putin is clearly concerned that time is not on his side, even as he continues to pursue extremist goals. This week, he asserted that regime change in Kyiv is a priority, and that Russian forces have reached what could be considered the highest they can reach in their territorial occupation. Ukraine’s use of effective HIMARS missiles contributed to repelling the advance of Russian forces in the main areas, and paved the way for Ukrainian forces to carry out a counterattack to regain the city of Kherson and other areas in the south.

Certainly, inflation is throwing its weight on the Western world, which is preparing to face the decline in energy imports next winter, and therefore it reached an emergency agreement to reduce gas consumption by 15% from next month until next March. The willingness of the American people to pay the price for supporting the war in Ukraine appears to have begun in the form of a fidgeting that will not continue to pay indefinitely.

But Putin faces heavy challenges, as he does not have enough soldiers for the challenges of a war of attrition. And the military industrial complexes are suffering severely under the pressure of Western sanctions, to the extent that they asked Iran to sell them “drones”. The Russian economy has been basically emptied as domestic production has stopped, and foreign companies, which used to make up 40% of the gross national income, will not return in the near future. The only thing that keeps Russia going is energy exports, but that is not enough.

The willingness of the American people to pay the price for supporting the war in Ukraine appears to have begun in the form of restlessness, as it will not continue to pay indefinitely.

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