For the third time this month, Russia’s representatives at the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul blocked inspections of vessels heading through the humanitarian maritime corridor, which was established under the Black Sea Grain Initiative to allow ships to export grain and other foodstuffs from Ukraine, on Wednesday, 26 April.

Ruslan Sakhautdinov, a Ukrainian representative at the JCC, announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

According to Sakhautdinov, the operation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative has again been suspended by Russia’s representatives. Russian representatives at the JCC refused to approve the movement of ships to/from Ukrainian seaports on 25 April.

As a result, four vessels were unable to leave the ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdennyi on 26 April and had to wait for an additional time for their passage to be approved.

They include the Akdeniz M vessel, which the UN World Food Program (WFP) chartered to deliver wheat to Ethiopia. One ship is also waiting for passage to the Odesa seaport near Sulina.

The Ukrainian representative at the JCC also said that false information that the Ukrainian Armed Forces has banned the movement of merchant vessels to/from the ports of Greater Odesa under the Black Sea Grain Initiative began spreading on the internet on the morning of Wednesday, 26 April.

"This information is completely false," he emphasized.

Sakhautdinov also emphasized that Ukraine is consistently fulfilling all its obligations within the framework of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and making maximum efforts to maintain and expand the export of grain and related food cargoes by sea.