Cargo ships anchored in the Marmara Sea await to cross the Bosphorus Straits in Istanbul, Türkiye, Nov 1, 2022. (KHALIL HAMRA / AP)
KIEV — Ukraine is interested in extending the Black Sea Grain Initiative by at least one year, the Infrastructure Ministry reported Monday.
"Strategically, we should achieve not only speeding up inspections on the Bosphorus, but also Mykolaiv ports joining the initiative, and prolonging the agreement for at least a year," the report quoted Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov as saying after his visit to the ports of Odesa and Pivdenny in southern Ukraine.
Ukraine has exported more than 12 million tons of grain and other foodstuffs to countries in Asia, Europe and Africa
Currently, 77 vessels with foodstuffs from Ukraine are waiting for inspection in Türkiye, Kubrakov said.
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Kubrakov added that Ukraine has the potential to further boost grain exports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative as currently the three ports, which function under the program, use only 50 percent of their export capacities.
On July 22, Russia and Ukraine separately signed a document in Istanbul with Türkiye and the United Nations on grain and fertilizer exports from Ukraine to ensure supplies to global markets amid the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict.
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Earlier this month, the deal, which was due to expire on Nov. 19, was extended for another 120 days.
Since the deal came into effect on Aug. 1, Ukraine has exported more than 12 million tons of grain and other foodstuffs to countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.