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Globalization as a threat: Interconnections between grain exports and military supply in Ukraine

There has been recent news on grain exports from Ukraine being banned by some European states, like Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland. This export ban illustrates how economic decisions and political actions can intersect and impact each other within the framework of globalization.


Ukraine plays a significant role in the global grain market, being among the largest producers and exporters. Its neighbouring countries - Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary - are crucial partners in regional grain trade due to their proximity and membership in the European Union. However, these countries have made themselves the main transit routes for global grain importation due to Russia's aggression and their blockage of seaports. These effects are far reaching, as Egypt, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Indonesia are all relying on these new transit routes. This change in main transit routes of grain reflects the extent of globalization's effects, and is enabling countries to engage in complex trade relationships and ultimately construct highly interdependent states. Economic and physical barriers, such as banning imports within neighbouring states, have contributed to a threat of hunger in other parts of the globe.


In addition to states depending on one another, they also depend on charismatic individuals, country leaders, ideology leaders, international organizations, and agreements they sign. Country leaders have made loud statements regarding decisions to continue banning grain export, that is, penetrating other markets and lowering prices, which does not match the European Union's views. In terms of international intergovernmental organizations, this event created a precedent for the lawsuit Ukraine has already filed to the WTO against Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. The nature of their relationships amid disagreements in the agricultural sector is consequently influencing the support of Ukraine in war.


The issue of grain exports demonstrates the connection between the territorial security of one country and food security in another in the modern world of interdependence, which some scholars equate to globalization. With all the positive things that the latter brings to economic growth and prosperity, such as access to new markets and the spread of technology and innovation, there is much to critique. The ongoing events lead us to the conclusion that they may bring positive changes in the future, or perhaps not.

 

References:


Fassihi, Farnaz, and Max Bearak. “U.N. General Assembly: Zelensky Criticizes the U.N. and Presents Peace Plan to End the War.” The New York Times, September 20, 2023, sec. World.

BBC News. “Poland No Longer Supplying Weapons to Ukraine amid Grain Row.” September 20, 2023, sec.

“Ukrainian Grain: Why Are Eastern EU Members Banning Imports? – DW – 09/20/2023.” Accessed September 23, 2023.

OEC - The Observatory of Economic Complexity. “Wheat in Ukraine | OEC.” Accessed September 23, 2023.

 

Solomiia Horbatso is a student at Queen's University and an Outreach Coordinator for WIIS-Queen's. The opinions of this blog post are reflective of the author and are separate from the organization, Women in International Security Queen's Unviersity (WIIS-Queen's).


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