The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is concerned by the Russian Federation’s actions leading to delays in operations of the grain corridor through the Black Sea.
Starting from 14 October 2022, Russia’s inspectors assigned to the Istanbul Joint Coordination Centre have been significantly prolonging the inspection of vessels, which are heading to Ukraine’s ports for grain loads, or have already been loaded and are on their way to the final destination. As a result, more than 165 vessels have been stuck in a queue near the Bosporus Strait, and this number continues to grow daily.
We have reason to believe that the delays in Russia’s inspections of the grain initiative’s vessels are politically motivated. Recently, the Russian leadership tried to question the grain corridor without any legitimate grounds, demanding new benefits for Moscow’s consent to renew the deal.
Russia’s actions undermine global food security, in particular in the Global South. The inspection delays have already prevented Ukraine from exporting an additional 3 million tons of grain. 10 million people across the world have not received food in time because of Russia’s political agenda.
We call on the international community, in particular African and Asian states who rely on Ukraine’s grain exports, to demand that Russia immediately stops these artificial delays in the inspections of the grain corridor vessels. We must not allow the Kremlin to keep millions of people hostage to its hunger games.
Ukraine has also requested the Secretariat of the Joint Coordination Centre to urgently address Russia’s delays, including by increasing the number of inspectors in the Bosporus Strait.
We remain committed to continue working closely with the United Nations and Türkiye in order to ensure the unimpeded functioning of the Black Sea grain corridor.