KYIV, UKRAINE — Ukraine officials say Russia is deliberately stalling the inspection of ships that had set sail from Ukraine as part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the Kyiv Independent reported.
A total of 99 vessels have been waiting for inspection in the Bosphorus Strait for over a month, according to Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry. Seventy-two of them were headed west to be loaded at ports and 27 are already carrying Ukrainian agricultural products.
The ships were sent under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a UN-backed deal signed in July by Ukraine, Russia and Turkey. It aimed to unblock Ukrainian grain exports that had been stalled since Russia’s invasion in February.
The Joint Coordination Center was established to coordinate the implementation of the deal, and each has representatives within it.
Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu said that over 15 million tonnes of products have left Ukraine through the agreement since August.