Inspections on vessels loaded with grain from Ukraine reportedly resumed on Wednesday following a U.N.-brokered deal. Kyiv, however, mentioned that additional time was required to secure an extension of this initiative.
Ukraine, the nation that depends heavily on revenue from its grain sales as it fights the Russian invasion, and allies blamed the most recent halt to vessel inspections in the Bosphorus on Moscow, which has, in turn, blamed Ukraine and the UN.
Ukraine’s Deputy PM Oleksandr Kubrakov posted on Facebook that vessel inspections are getting resumed, despite the attempts of the Russian Federation to disrupt this agreement. The Joint Coordination Centre based in Istanbul, which oversees the operations mentioned that inspections are at work already.
There are also discussions regarding the extension of the Black Sea grain deal beyond the 18 May deadline has not yielded a breakthrough, and grain exports of Kyiv are limited by import bans that have been imposed by three eastern European nations.
The Black Sea Grain deal reached with the U.N. and Turkish mediation in July 2022 has reportedly unblocked three Black Sea ports of Ukraine, about five months following Russia’s invasion. The deal was particularly designed to alleviate a worldwide food crisis as well as to support Ukraine, whose economy heavily relies on agricultural exports.
The Foreign Ministry of Russia, without sharing documentary evidence, reportedly accused Kyiv of sabotaging this deal by demanding bribes from vessel owners for registering vessels and carrying out inspections.
Russia said that it has committed to this initiative until 18 May and complains that a separate deal that is meant to ease its fertilizer and agricultural exports has not been upheld so far.
Mykola Solsky, Ukraine’s Agriculture Minister, informed reporters that discussions were ongoing to get the deal extended until next month. But it was made clear that no immediate breakthrough was to be expected; Solsky asked to give them time.
Reference: The Print, The Guardian