03:36 GMT. The first grain load awaiting inspection near Istanbul.
A team of Russian and Ukrainian officials are due to inspect near Istanbul the first shipment of grain exported by Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, under the agreement signed in July between kyiv and Moscow in order to end the global food crisis.
The Razoni, a freighter flying the flag of Sierra Leone, came into sight of the northern shores of Istanbul on the Black Sea on Tuesday after leaving the Ukrainian port of Odessa on Monday with 26,000 tonnes of maize bound for Tripoli in Liban.
The ship will be inspected on the morning of Wednesday August 3 by a joint team of Russian and Ukrainian officials at the entrance to the Bosphorus, in accordance with Russia’s wish to be sure of the nature of the cargo, said the Turkish Ministry of Defense.
Cereals have already left Ukraine since the start of the Russian offensive, but from Berdiansk (southeast), on the Sea of Azov, an area occupied by the Russians.
“Our goal now is regularity. (…) Continuity, regularity is a necessary principle for the consumers of our agricultural production”Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily address on Tuesday evening, castigating the“terrorist state” russian who “caused the food crisis in order to use grain, corn and oil as weapons”.
8:05 p.m. UT. Canada funds a UN program to increase grain storage.
Canada to fund $40 million Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) project to partially compensate for destruction of grain storage facilities due to war in Ukraine, the FAO announced on Tuesday 2 August.
“The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has just inaugurated a new project of 40 million US dollars (39.2 million euros, editor’s note) financed by Canada and intended to correct insufficient grain storage capacity in Ukraine”the UN agency said in a statement.
This funding should allow “to store 2.4 million tonnes of additional cereals between 2022 and 2023, and provides for the supply of auxiliary technical equipment”she adds, as the decisive harvest period for winter crops (cereals, oilseeds) begins.
“According to the Ukrainian government, out of a total storage capacity of 75 million tons, 14% of the equipment is damaged or destroyed, 10% is located in the territories occupied by Russia and 30% is full of 22 million tons from the 2021 harvests awaiting export”from the silos of the Black Sea ports in particular, summarizes the FAO.
7:52 p.m. UT. “Volatile” situation at the Zaporijjia plant, according to the head of the IAEA.
The situation is “volatile” at the Zaporijjia nuclear power plant (south) under Russian control since the beginning of March, worried on Tuesday the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is continuing its efforts to send a mission there.
“The situation is really volatile” said Rafael Grossi during a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York where a conference of the 191 signatory states of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is being held.
“All safety principles have been violated in one way or another. And we cannot allow this to continue”, he added. At the opening of the meeting on Monday 1 August, he had already stressed that the situation was becoming “more and more dangerous every day”.
Hence his efforts for weeks to send a mission to inspect the plant. Mission so far refused by Ukraine, which considers that this would legitimize the Russian occupation of the site in the eyes of the international community, the Ukrainian operator Energoatom explained a few weeks ago.
“Going there is very complex because it requires the agreement and cooperation of a number of actors”in particular Ukraine and Russia, and the support of the United Nations, with regard to a war zone, noted Tuesday August 2 Rafael Grossi.
“I try to set up a mission as quickly as possible”he assured.
5:36 p.m. UT. Washington announces a new salvo of sanctions against Russian oligarchs and companies.
Washington announces new economic sanctions against Russian companies and oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin, including Andrey Guryev, who owns the largest private property in London behind Buckingham Palace.
“Putin’s allies got rich and funded opulent lifestyles”said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, quoted in the statement.
Joe Biden’s minister assures that the Treasury “will use every tool at its disposal to ensure that Russian elites and Kremlin backers are held accountable for their complicity in a war that has cost countless lives”.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has frozen the assets of Andrey Guryev, founder of the fertilizer company Phosagro, “close associate” of Vladimir Putin and former member of the Russian government.
His yacht, the Alfa Nero, bought for 120 million dollars in 2014 and which flies the flag of the Cayman Islands, is also targeted by the Treasury, which specifies that the ship “would have deactivated his geolocation device in order to avoid the seizure”.
The Phosagro company, however, is not subject to sanctions, transactions related to fertilizers and other agricultural products remain authorized.
The son of Andrey Guryev, who bears the same name and is already subject to sanctions by several countries, is also targeted.