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Ukraine: Grain ship inspections delayed by Russia

Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry said some ships had been stuck in Turkish waters awaiting inspection for over a month.

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Oqtave | BIGSTOCK
Oqtave | BIGSTOCK

Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry said December 26 that some of the ships that had set sail from Ukraine under the grain initiative had been stuck in Turkish waters awaiting inspection for over a month. Ukraine accused the Russian delegation of deliberately stalling the process.

According to reports, in total, 99 vessels are currently waiting for inspection in the Bosphorus Strait, with 72 of them headed west to be loaded at ports and 27 already carrying Ukrainian agricultural products.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative, initially reached in July, created a protected sea transit corridor and was designed to alleviate global food shortages by allowing exports to resume from three ports in Ukraine: Chornomorsk, Odesa and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi.

The ships were to travel through the humanitarian corridor set up in the Black Sea and stop in Istanbul, where they are checked by inspectors from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN before continuing to the final destination.

Over 15 million tons of products have left Ukraine through the agreement since August with destinations to Europe, Asia, Turkey and Africa.

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