Business calls on the UN and Turkey to ensure free navigation in the Black Sea
Ukrainian business issued a joint statement to the parties of the “grain initiative” with a call to promote its stable operation and ensure free commercial shipping in the Black Sea region.
This is stated in joint statement of the European Business Association, the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and the Ukrainian Club of Agrarian Business.
“The business community … calls on the parties of the Black Sea Grain Initiative – the UN and Turkey – to contribute to its stable operation, continuation and expansion of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and to ensure free merchant shipping in the Black Sea region,” the statement reads.
Business emphasizes that Russian inspectors of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) are artificially blocking the work of the initiative and disrupting free navigation in the Black Sea. Currently, 140 vessels are waiting for inspection by the SCC in the Bosphorus, and Ukrainian ports are operating at only 30% of their capacity.
At the same time, the movement of Russian ships in the Black Sea is not limited to inspections, and the volume of cargo transported by the Azov and Black Seas from the Russian Federation is about 250 million tons in 2022.
If the initiative works properly, Ukrainian grain exports could be 30-40% higher. However, currently about 10 million tons of agricultural products have not been shipped to international markets, in particular to countries with a high level of hunger: Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan.
Therefore, the Ukrainian business community calls on the UN and Turkey:
- to take measures to ensure the stable and timely work of inspectors in the SCC to speed up the movement of ships;
- ensure free trade navigation in the Black Sea for all parties or introduce inspection of all Russian vessels;
- to support the extension of the Initiative for at least one year, with automatic renewal for the same periods, unless one party gives notice of its intention to terminate or modify the initiative;
- to include the Mykolaiv Seaport, as well as other ports and terminals located in the Buzhka-Dnieper Canal, the specialized seaport “Olvia” to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, in order to increase the throughput capacity for grain export.
Read also: Shortened working day and continuous “tea parties”. How Russia is trying to derail the grain agreement
We remind you:
Ukraine this week will turn to Turkey and the United Nations with a request to start negotiations on the extension of the grain agreement for at least one year and the inclusion of the Mykolaiv port in the agreement.
In their joint statement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba and Deputy Prime Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov emphasize that inspections of Russian ships in the Bosphorus do not take place, which makes it possible for Russia to use commercial ships to receive military cargo.
In the summer Bloomberg journalists also reported on the transportation of weapons by Russia by civilian vessels.