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Ukraine-Russia grain export deal could still go forward, but Russian attack on grain port puts trust in jeopardy, Northeastern expert says

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(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File)
A family sit on a rock in front of a cargo ship anchors in the Marmara Sea awaits to access to cross the Bosphorus Straits in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 13, 2022. Turkish officials say a deal on a U.N. plan to unblock the exports of Ukrainian grain amid the war and to allow Russia to export grain and fertilizers will be signed Friday, July 22, 2022, in Istanbul.

Before the ink was dry on the Black Sea Grain Initiative that Ukraine and Russia signed with the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul last Friday, Russia carried out a missile attack, hitting the major port of Odesa on Saturday. It is not a great start, says Stephen Flynn, one of the world’s leading experts on critical infrastructure and supply chain resilience and professor of political science at Northeastern’s College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Building trust is not only key for Ukrainians and Russians, but also for the shipping intermediaries willing to take the risk coming into the Black Sea and working with Ukrainians, he says.

“The bottom line is the actual execution of this agreement is going to take a lot of trust and some considerable levels of complexity and, if the Russians aren’t in a posture, which is really trying to make sure it works, it’s going to be a rough ride ahead,” Flynn says.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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