Russia blocks Black Sea grain agreement – Ukrainian Navy
A cargo ship waiting to be inspected for entry into the Bosphorus Strait, October, 2012 (Photo:REUTERS/Umit Bektas)
Russia has once again stalled the operation of the Black Sea grain corridor, the Ukrainian Navy said in a Facebook post on April 26.
According to the report, Russian representatives in Istanbul's joint coordination center refused to approve the movement of vessels to and from Ukrainian seaports through the humanitarian corridor.
Due to this decision, four ships, including the vessel AKDENIZ-M, chartered by the UN World Food Program for delivering wheat to Ethiopia, were unable to leave Ukrainian ports in and around Odesa. Another vessel, currently located near Romania’s Sulina, is waiting for permission to enter the port of Odessa.
Additionally, the navy has denied false reports that Kyiv is behind the apparent blockage in food exports from Ukraine to the rest of the world.
“Ukraine consistently fulfills all its obligations within the framework of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and makes maximum efforts to support and expand the grain and related food exports by sea, in the interests of our state," the message reads.
The message notes that, according to UN data, the grain corridor has already facilitated the delivery 28.9 million tons of agricultural products to African, Asian, and European countries.
On March 18th, Ukrainian Deputy OM Oleksandr Kubrakov announced the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative for another 120 days.
On April 24th, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of "violating" the grain agreement by launching drone attacks on occupied Sevastopol, Crimea. The Russian side, which regularly tries to disrupt the agreement, said there is a "threat to the next extension of the agreement beyond May 18."
The Ukrainian military maintains that any strikes on Crimea include exclusively military targets.
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