(Reuters) - Russia and Ukraine signed a landmark deal on Friday to reopen Ukrainian Black Sea ports for grain exports, raising hopes that an international food crisis aggravated by the Russian invasion can be eased.
MERCY CORPS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER TJADA D'OYEN MCKENNA
"If respected and enacted in good faith, today’s deal to protect Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea will help ease grain shortages, but let's be clear - this will not end or significantly alter the trajectory of the worsening global food crisis."
"Today's global food catastrophe goes far beyond the 20 million tons of grain that have been stuck in Ukraine. Spiking fuel prices are driving up the cost of staple goods across nearly every country where we work."
EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF JOSEP BORRELL
"Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine has left millions at risk of hunger. Today's Istanbul agreement is a step in the right direction. We call for its swift implementation."
KITACK LIM, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION, THE U.N.'S SHIPPING AGENCY
"I am very pleased that all parties have reached agreement on the way forward for ships to safely transport much-needed grain and other commodities through the Black Sea..."
"The safety of ships and seafarers remains my top priority. IMO instruments, including the International Ship and Port Facilities Security (ISPS) Code, underpin this agreement for safe and secure shipping through the Black Sea."
RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTER SERGEI SHOIGU
"Russia has taken on the obligations that are clearly spelled out in this document. We will not take advantage of the fact that the ports will be cleared and opened. We have made this commitment."
GUY PLATTEN, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF SHIPPING (ICS)
"This is a long-needed breakthrough for the millions of people who rely on the safe passage of grain to survive. But although this is an important step, lots of work remains to be done.
"Ensuring crew safety will be crucial if we are to get this agreement moving quickly. Questions remain over how ships will navigate heavily mined waters, and how we can effectively crew the ships in the region to meet the suggested deadline."
U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES
"Today, there is a beacon on the Black Sea. A beacon of hope..., possibility...and relief in a world that needs it more than ever."
CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU
"The G7 is working closely with partners like Turkey and others to ensure that we can get that grain out of Ukraine and to places around the world where it's needed without putting at risk Ukraine's sovereignty and protection."
(Editing by William Maclean)