Russia recently agreed to extend the Black Sea grain deal following talks with the United Nations for an additional 60 days.
About Black Sea Grain Initiative:
- It was set up to resume vital food and fertilizer exports from Ukraine to the rest of the world.
- It was brokered between Russia and Ukraine by the United Nations and Turkey.
- The Initiative allowed exports of grain, other foodstuffs, and fertilizer, including ammonia, to resume through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor from three key Ukrainian ports: Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi, to the rest of the world.
- Joint Coordination Centre (JCC):
- A JCC was established to monitor the implementation of the Initiative.
- JCC Centre is hosted in Istanbul and includes representatives from Russia, Türkiye, Ukraine, and the United Nations.
- The UN acts as the Secretariat for the Centre.
- Vessels wishing to participate in the Initiative will undergo inspection off Istanbul to ensure they are empty of cargo.
- They then sail through the maritime humanitarian corridor to Ukrainian ports to load.
- The corridor is monitored 24/7 to ensure the safe passage of vessels.
- Vessels on the return journey will also be inspected at the inspection area off Istanbul.
Key Facts about Black Sea:
- It is an inland sea between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.
- It is bound by Ukraine to the north and northwest, Russia and Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west.
- It links to the Sea of Marmara through the Strait of Bosphorus and then to the Aegean through the Strait of Dardanelles.
Q1) Where is the Bosphorus Strait?
Bosphorus strait is a natural strait located in northwestern Turkey, connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Also known as the Strait of Istanbul, it links the European part of the city with its Asian part and thus remains a strategic waterway in the region. The Bosphorus strait has played a significant role in world maritime trade for centuries.