The Straits Times says

Building on Russia-Ukraine grain deal

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The deal to reopen Ukrainian ports for grain exports reached by Moscow and Kyiv will be welcomed by all, not least the 50 million people in 45 nations that are threatened by starvation. Ukraine, Europe's bread basket, also supplies wheat, barley, corn and sunflower oil to Africa and the Middle East. These shipments have been blocked since Russia invaded it in late February, and Ukraine mined its own waters to block an invasion from the sea. The UN-facilitated deal - Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was present at its signing, as was Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - also allows Russia to export fertiliser. While shipments have not begun, wheat is already back at pre-invasion prices.

The UN and Turkey are owed kudos for the diplomacy that produced the parallel agreements with the warring nations. A joint coordination centre in Istanbul staffed by Turkish, Ukrainian, Russian and UN staff will now inspect vessels heading to Ukraine to ensure they are not carrying weapons that could target Russia. This raises prospects of removing a global scar that contributed to high inflation and shortages - the Sri Lankan president was toppled in a wave of public anger - and raised questions about globalisation. Indonesia and India restricted palm oil and grain exports, respectively. While the agreement is for four months, it can be renewed and with good faith all round, could prove durable.

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