Russia again blocks ship inspections in the Bosphorus
Russia again blocks ship inspections in the Bosphorus (Photo:REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)
The Russian side once again blocked inspections of vessels in the territorial waters of Turkey on April 17, moving through the Bosphorus as part of the grain initiative, according to a report by Ukraine’s Ministry for Restoration.
Since April 10, the Russian side in the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul has unilaterally stopped registering vessels that Ukrainian ports submit to form an inspection plan. Meanwhile, the Russians are forming their own inspection plan by choosing the vessels from the waiting line at their discretion, which completely contradicts the terms of the initiative and is unacceptable to Ukraine.
As a result, an inspection plan has not been drawn up and not a single vessel has been inspected for the second time in the nine months of operation of the grain initiative. This, according to the agency, threatens the functioning of the grain initiative.
The ministry emphasizes that since November 2022, the Russians have been sabotaging and delaying inspections under various pretexts, which has already reduced the volume of exports of Ukrainian agricultural products onto world markets by 15-18 million tonnes.
According to the Ministry for Restoration, since April 2023, Russian representatives of the JCC have been trying to interfere in the activities of Ukrainian seaports and exporters by imposing their own criteria for determining specific vessels that will participate in the initiative.
For example, since April 14, Russians have refused to register three vessels (two of them heading to China) without any explanation, which are already waiting for cargo in the Pivdennyi seaport.
“Thus, the Russian side is trying to establish control over the number of loaded fleets and the directions of its work, violating international norms and grain initiative provisions,” the report says.
“This is Russia’s another attempt to dictate its policies to the world, endanger food security, and use food as a weapon.”
The agency added that Ukraine categorically rejects Russia’s latest demands and opposes its interference in the operation of Ukrainian seaports.
On March 18, the Deputy Prime Minister for the Reconstruction and Development of Ukraine, Oleksandr Kubrakov, announced the extension of the agreement for another 120 days.
Earlier Russia stated that the extension of the grain agreement is possible only for 60 days, and the further position will be determined depending on “progress in the normalization of Russian agricultural exports.”
We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News