Black Sea grain exports unblocked, inspections resumed, Ukraine announces
Photo via Ministry of National Defence of Turkey

Ukraine and Turkey agreed to resume ship inspections as part of the Black Sea grain initiative on Wednesday, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced, following a meeting with Turkish defence minister Hulusi Akar.

In a Facebook post, Mr Kubrakov said that the unblocking and effective functioning of the grain deal was the key topic of his discussions in Turkey.

"We agreed to resume registration and inspection of ships arriving to load Ukrainian grain," he added.

Since 10 April, Russia has unilaterally stopped registering vessels that Ukrainian ports submit to form an inspection plan within the ‘grain deal’, which effectively blocked any shipments.

During 17 and 18 April, no inspections took place in Turkish territorial waters.

"Despite the fact that ship inspections will be resumed, we continue working consultations with the UN and Turkey on ways to ensure the full implementation of the grain deal in compliance with the obligations of all parties and procedures," Mr Kubrakov said.

The grain deal, struck in July 2022, provided for limited exports of Ukrainian grain through three Black Sea ports, which had been blocked since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has claimed that the current grain deal does not guarantee its agricultural exports, allegedly blocked by Western sanctions in response to its aggression against Ukraine.