Ukraine's grain exports will fail to reach 3 million tons in November as Russia is intentionally limiting ship inspections, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Nov. 27.
In October, Ukraine exported 4.2 million tons of grain under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Kubrakov said in a Facebook post.
The UN-backed deal allowed for the export of Ukrainian grain following Russia's full-scale invasion in February and was extended for four months on Nov. 17. Earlier on Oct. 29, Russia said it was suspending its participation in the deal, but later reversed the decision on Nov. 2.
"We used to conduct 40 inspections a day, and now, due to the position of the Russian Federation, there are five times fewer inspections," he said. In regular times, Ukraine can export 6 million tons of grain each month, Kubrakov also said.
As part of the deal originally signed in August, the signing parties, the UN, Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey, agreed to have teams inspect ships to ensure that no weapons, stowaways, or other barred goods were being exported.
According to Kubrakov, 77 ships are waiting to be inspected at Turkish ports, and three of Ukraine's Black Sea ports only use 50% of their capacity.
U.S. Ambassador Bridget Brink and the U.S. Special Sanctions Policy Commissioner James O'Brien also visited Odesa's seaports on Nov. 27 and "discussed ways to strengthen and empower the Grain Initiative," Kubrakov wrote on Twitter.
Earlier on Nov. 19, the U.S. announced up to $20 million for the ‘Grain from Ukraine’ initiative to facilitate additional shipments of Ukrainian grain moving through the Black Sea Grain Initiative.