Ukraine Defies Disruptions

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced on Wednesday that ship inspections for the safe grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports are resuming under a U.N.-brokered agreement.

Despite the Russian Federation’s attempts to disrupt the agreement, Kubrakov stated on Facebook that inspections are underway.

According to the U.N. coordinator’s press office, inspections had already resumed after two days of talks. Kubrakov is currently in Turkey to discuss the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which was established last July to address the global food crisis.

However, Moscow has agreed to extend the deal only until May 18, while Kyiv and the United Nations claim it has another 60 days to run. As a result, Ukraine is seeking an agreement to ensure the initiative continues.

Ukrainian officials have accused Russian inspectors of not allowing vessels to ship grain from Ukraine, causing difficulties for Ukraine. Agriculture Minister Mykola Solsky expressed concerns that Moscow was increasing difficulties for Ukraine at a time when three Eastern European countries had banned imports of Ukrainian grain and food products.

“Obviously, the Russians could not fail to take advantage of these nuances on the western (Ukrainian) border,” Solsky told reporters.

However, the Russian foreign ministry, as quoted by RIA, stated that Ukraine and the United Nations were causing difficulties with the ship inspections. While Ukraine and Poland have reached an agreement to unblock transit of Ukrainian grain from Friday, import bans remain in place in Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary.


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