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Russia blocking Ukraine’s maritime grain exports again – Infrastructure Ministry

Russia blocking Ukraine’s maritime grain exports again – Infrastructure Ministry

Russia had blocked the registration of ships to all Ukrainian ports halting the UN-brokered Black Sea grain export deal, according to a statement by Ukraine’s Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development published on 1 June.

“The Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul announced that it was impossible to draw up an inspection plan for June 1 due to another unreasonable refusal of the Russian delegation to register the incoming fleet for participation in the Initiative,” the Ministry says.

The Infrastructure Ministry says that on 30 and 31 May, Russia registered only one incoming vessel for inspection bound for the port of Chornomorsk “without explanation, while other parties to the JCC confirmed ten vessels bound for three ports to participate in the Black Sea Initiative.”

Russia imposed the maritime blockade of the Ukrainian Black Sea ports since the beginning of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. In July 2022, the UN and Türkiye brokered the so-called Black Sea Grain Initiative between Ukraine and Russia to allow grain exports from Ukrainian seaports to help tackle a global food crisis.

According to the Ministry, 50 ships have been currently lined up in Turkish territorial waters waiting for inspection to be allowed to load 2.4 million tons of food in Ukrainian ports. Some ships are awaiting inspection for three months.

“This is more than $1 billion in losses that affect the final cost of food for the world. Thus, Russia has once again found a way to limit the world’s food supply. Blocking the registration of a new incoming fleet, as well as blocking the largest port, Pivdennyi, is a gross violation of the terms of the Grain Initiative, to which the aggressor country is also a signatory,” thee Ministry says.

Over ten months, more than 30.5 million tons of Ukrainian agrarian products have been exported under the Grain Initiative.

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