Kiev, Nov 29 (UiTV/IANS) – Ukraine is seeking to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative by at least a year, a Minister said.
“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,” Xinhua news agency quoted Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov as saying after his visit to the ports of Odesa and Pivdenny on Monday.
Currently, 77 vessels with foodstuffs from Ukraine are waiting for inspection in Turkey, Kubrakov said.
The Minister 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 Turkey and the UN on grain and fertilizer exports from Kiev to ensure supplies to global markets amid the ongoing war between the two nations.
Earlier this month, the deal, which was due to expire on November 19, was extended for another 120 days.
Since the deal came into effect on August 1, Ukraine has exported more than 12 million tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs to countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.