In a joint statement published on Feb. 15, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov accused Russia of obstructing the Black Sea Grain Initiative on Feb. 15. The statement said that Russian representatives systematically stalled the inspection process of ships carrying Ukrainian grain for export by asking for unregulated documentation and doing half of the daily planned inspections.
Due to the delays, about 140 vessels are waiting for a green light in the Bosporus, with some having been stuck for more than a month, according to the statement.
As a result, countries in need received less than 10 million tonnes of Ukrainian food in the last three months, and "this negative trend is gaining momentum," the ministers warned.
Ukraine called on the UN and Turkey as guarantors of the Black Sea Grain Initiative to demand that Russia immediately stop the delays and its attempts to use food as a weapon by blocking ports.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative is a U.N.-backed deal signed in July by Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey to unblock Ukrainian grain exports amid Russia’s invasion of the country.
As of November 2022, 9.5 million tonnes of grain have left the country under the grain deal.