Why Russia is blocking the grain corridor – Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry comments

9 May, 06:07 PM
Mykola Solskyi (Photo:Слуга Народу)

Mykola Solskyi (Photo:Слуга Народу)

The work of the grain initiative to export food from Ukraine has been almost paralyzed by Russia's actions, the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Mykola Solskyi, said on national television on May 9.

Ukraine has a plan B for this scenario, he added.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative hasn't worked since the end of the past week as Russia has been blocking any inspections of ships which are to pass through the grain corridor.

"It (the grain corridor) allegedly works in legal terms, but in fact Russia is trying to block the passing of any ships. Its work has been 90% paralysed," Solskyi said.

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Russia is threatening to leave the agreement on May 18. Ukraine is ready for this scenario, despite desiring to avoid it, the minister added.

"There is always a Plan B. We also have it, but as for now we’re putting our maximum efforts into Plan A. We'll see how it goes," he said.

The possibility of the grain corridor's further work will become apparent in coming weeks, the minister said.

Russia blocked the work of the grain initiative on April 26, the Ukrainian Navy reported.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative was prolonged on March 18 for another 120 days, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov reported.

Russia's Ministry of Defense accused Ukraine of violating the grain agreement, referring to the drone attack on the occupied port city of Sevastopol on April 24. The attack was allegedly launched from Odesa Port water area. Russia threatened not to prolong the deal on May 18.

In fact, it has continually tried to hinder the work of the initiative.

The spokesman for the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine Andriy Yusov said Russia was lying, and emphasized that any Ukrainian attacks on Russian-occupied Crimea targeted military facilities exclusively.

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