Grain initiative": the number of ship calls to the ports of Odesa for loading agricultural products has decreased
15 March 2023, 19:00
In February, only 71 vessels were inspected at the entrance to the ports of Odesa for loading Ukrainian agricultural products by the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul (JCC). This is 17 vessels less than in January.
Such negative dynamics are a consequence of Russia's systemic destructive policy, which purposefully and unreasonably slows down ship inspections in Turkish territorial waters.
In particular, all parties to the JCC, including the Russian Federation, agreed to conduct from 9 to 12 inspections per day. However, Russian inspectors perform no more than 6 inspections without giving reasons. After that, Russian inspectors stop working, making it impossible for UN inspectors from Turkey and Ukraine to work.
In addition, the Russians systematically stop inspecting ships after 15:30, although the official working day of inspectors continues during daylight hours.
Also, the Russian side, contrary to the procedures of the JCC, requires verification of ship documents that have nothing to do with the subject of the inspection itself. Thus, the Russian Federation delays the duration of the ship's inspection.
Thus, only 149 inspections were carried out in February (173 in January), compared to the planned 296. The trend continues in March, when negotiations are underway to extend the grain initiative.
In addition, as a result of these actions, there are constant queues of vessels (from 120 to 140 vessels), and Ukrainian ports face the problem of a shortage of new fleets for loading. Today, 86 vessels that are being sent for loading are awaiting inspection in Turkish territorial waters.
Since August 1, 2022, 814 vessels have exported 24.4 million tons of Ukrainian food from the ports of Odesa to Asia, Europe and Africa. Due to the shortage of the new fleet and the queue in the territorial waters of Turkey, the export of agricultural products by the "grain corridor" does not exceed 3.4 million tons per month, this is despite the ability to give the world 6 million tons of Ukrainian agricultural products.