Ukraine accused Russia of actually excluding the Ukrainian port of Yuzhny from the “grain agreement”, and the US State Department called Russia’s actions “a clear violation of obligations,” writes Reuters . Moscow was urged to “stop holding global food stocks hostage.”
- The “grain agreement” concerns the export of food and fertilizers from the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny. On Monday, May 22, the UN expressed concern that, as part of the agreement, there had not been a single ship in Yuzhny since May 2.
- Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Yuriy Vaskov accused Russia of flagrant violation of the agreement. Vaskov said that Russian inspectors have been refusing to inspect ships bound for Yuzhny since April 29.
- “They (Russia) have now found an effective way to significantly reduce (Ukrainian) grain exports by excluding the port of Yuzhny from the initiative, which receives large-capacity vessels,” Vaskov said.
- Yuzhny is the largest port included in the cargo turnover agreement. Ministry figures show that it is storing about 1.5 million tons of food for future exports to 10 countries, and 26 ships should arrive for them.
- US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Russia’s actions were “a clear violation of its obligations” under the grain deal and urged Moscow to “stop holding global food stocks hostage.”
On May 17, the agreement on the “grain initiative” was extended for another two months – until July 18, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said . According to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, the “grain agreement” has been unlocked , but it remained in force, as it was extended in March for a period of 120 days.
Kubrakov recalled that since mid-April, the Russian Federation began to limit the work of the initiative, and since May it has actually blocked it, refusing to register a new fleet and conduct inspections of the fleet that is going to be loaded into Ukrainian ports.
Then he said that about 70 ships were waiting in the territorial waters of Turkey.
In total, under the agreement, about 30.3 million tons of grain and food products were exported from Ukraine, including 625,000 tons on World Food Program ships for relief operations in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Yemen.
On May 19 , Russia agreed to restore entry inspections to only two of the three ports after announcing the continuation of the “grain initiative”, Deputy Minister for the Development of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine Yuriy Vaskov said, Interfax-Ukraine writes . We are talking about the ports of Odessa and Chernomorsk.