Russia Not Ready To Trade Off Quality Of Ship Inspections Under Grain Deal For Speed

Russia Not Ready to Trade Off Quality of Ship Inspections Under Grain Deal for Speed

UNITED NATIONS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 29th April, 2023) Russia is not ready to sacrifice the quality of vessel inspections under the Black Sea Grain Initiative in favor of the speed of the process, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said.

"We have heard demands to increase the number of inspections. But this, apparently, can only be done at the expense of quality, at the expense of the fact that there will be a risk of missing the wrong cargo or incorrectly registered ships. We can't let that happen," Vershinin told reporters.

The deputy minister also said that the Joint Coordination Center is operating in Istanbul based on the procedures that were agreed upon when it was established, and Russia relies on these procedures in its work. The parties agreed that the Black Sea Grain Initiative would cover only grain shipments from Ukraine without any additional cargoes, including dangerous ones, he recalled.

"We are not ready to sacrifice quality. Our people are working extremely professionally," Vershinin stressed, adding that demanding "more, faster, sooner" inspections is wrong.

The grain deal was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey between Russia and Ukraine in July 2022 to facilitate exports of agricultural products from Black Sea ports during conflict. The package agreement also includes a memorandum of understanding between Russia and the UN to unblock Russian grain and fertilizer exports via the Black Sea, which, according to Moscow, has not been implemented amid Western sanctions. The deal has since been extended twice, the latest time in March and is due to expire on May 18.