Ukraine wants to expand ‘grain deal’ for at least a year, include more ports and goods

9 November 2022, 02:42 PM
Yurii Vaskov, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure (Photo:facebook/Юрий Васьков)

Yurii Vaskov, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure (Photo:facebook/Юрий Васьков)

Ukraine wants to include more ports and goods in the Black Sea grain export deal, and hopes the deal will be prolonged for a year at least, news agency Reuters reported on Nov. 8.

Ukraine has proposed to Turkey and the United Nations to extend the deal for at least a year, as well as expand it and include the ports in the Mykolaiv region, which handled 35% of Ukrainian food exports before Russia's invasion, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Yuriy Vaskov, said in an interview with Reuters.

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Kyiv also demands that the procedure of mandatory inspections of ships with grain be improved, believing that Russia is deliberately slowing down the process to reduce the speed of the export flow.

"When Turkey and the UN did their own inspections, they proved it was possible to carry out more than 40 inspections a day. Now that Russia has returned ... we again have a total of 12 inspections per day," he said.

According to him, Russia doesn't explain the reasons for the delays, openly hindering the work of the "green corridor."

The deal is to terminate on Nov. 19.

"We hope that no later than next week we will have an understanding from our partners Turkey and the UN, and the whole market will also have a clear signal about the further functioning and continuation of the initiative," Vaskov said.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative or "grain deal" is an agreement made between the U.N., Turkey, Russia and Ukraine to ensure the safe food transportation through Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

Thanks to the initiative, up to 10 million tons of Ukrainian grain and other foods have been shipped through three ports since the end of August. Following explosions in the occupied Crimean port Sevastopol early on Oct. 29, Russia suspended its participation in the agreement.

However, a few days later, on Nov. 2, Russia said it would again take part in the deal.

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