Leaders from all over the world applauded Russia and Ukraine’s agreement to allow ships carrying food grains to pass through in the midst of the crisis. Pope Francis also praised the ships’ departure from Black Sea ports, calling it a ‘breakthrough’ for dialogue that could lead to a long-term solution. The pope has attempted to bring the two countries together, but no resolution to the ongoing invasion appears likely at this time.
‘This step demonstrates that it is possible to conduct dialogue to achieve concrete results that benefit everyone,’ Pope Francis said during his weekly address in St. Peter’s Square, according to Reuters. ‘ This event presents itself as a sign of hope, and my own heartfelt wish is that by following this path, we will be able to put an end to the fighting and achieve a just and lasting peace,’ he said.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine created a global food shortage, and food grain resupply is critical to the global economy. Razoni, the first ship to leave Ukraine under the new UN-mediated agreement, arrived on time in Turkey. Following global famine concerns, Russia and Ukraine signed the agreement in Istanbul under the supervision of a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC). The Pope had previously criticised the conflict’s food crisis and even urged countries not to use food as a ‘weapon’.