Shipping along the Black Sea grain corridor has slowed, with reports stating that a week-long deadline, set by Russia, is the cause of the delay. While Ukraine works to release stranded ships, delay in negotiations mean residual ships are not moving. While May 18 is the date set by Russia, UN officials confirmed that incoming ships are not proceeding, leading to some 26 vessels, loaded with more than 1.1 million tons of grain and food, to await inspection and clearance in Turkish waters. Partnership talks have taken place between Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and UN officials in a bid to resolve the situation.
Issues discussed include the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline and the extension of the Grains Agreement. Turkey is hoping the Grain Corridor could be used as a model for evacuating foreign ships from Ukraine, with Ukrainian officials pushing for the programme to be both extended and made bigger. However, according to media reports, they have developed alternative plans in case UN agreement cannot be extended and no further ships are allowed to enter Turkey. Turkey’s foreign minister has expressed confidence of a continued grain trade between Turkey and the countries involved in the initiative. The UN will continue to work with all sides in their efforts to secure the continuation of the initiative.
Tags: grain,Ukraine,Russia,Black Sea,Turkey,UN,talks