Ukraine has proposed expanding the Black Sea Grain Export Agreement to include more ports and goods, and it is hoping that a decision to extend the agreement for at least one year will be made next week.

Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Yurii Vaskov stated this in comments to the Reuters news agency on Tuesday, the CFTS portal reports.

"We hope we will have an understanding from our partners Turkey and the UN no later than next week and that the entire market will also receive a clear signal about further functioning and extension of the initiative," Vaskov said.

According to Reuters, Vaskov also said that Ukraine had proposed to Turkey and the UN an extension of the grain deal for at least one year, as well as a broadening of the deal to include the ports in the southern Mykolaiv region, which accounted for 35% of Ukraine’s food exports before the Russian invasion.

Ukraine has also demanded that mandatory inspections of ships that are involved in the transportation of foodstuffs be "streamlined" because it believes Russia is deliberately slowing down inspections to reduce the speed of exports, Vaskov said.

"We are already ... demanding that inspections be streamlined or inspections of departed (ships) be canceled because it makes no sense. Or increase the number of inspection teams," he said. 

Vaskov added that inspectors from the Joint Control Center, which oversees the deal, conducted only 12 inspections per day, but it was necessary to conduct 25-30 inspections. 

"When Turkey and the United Nations conducted their own inspections, they proved it was possible to conduct over 40 inspections per day. Now that Russia has returned ... we again have a total of 12 inspections per day," he said. "They do not explain [the reason for the delays], but they also do not hide the fact that they are doing this to complicate the work of the corridor."

According to Vaskov, neither the UN nor Turkey had informed Kyiv about Russia’s proposed conditions for extending the agreement.

In addition, according to him, there has not been a single request from Russia regarding ships planning to transport ammonia from Ukrainian ports.

As reported earlier, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said a day earlier that he would propose extending the agreement on the establishment of the grain corridor in the Black Sea for another year.

Ukrainian experts and market participants have repeatedly proposed extending the grain agreement to other types of goods, particularly the products of the metals and mining industry. 

"From the point of view of the Ukrainian economy, sending metals and mining industry cargoes has the same effect as agricultural cargoes. 80% of metals and mining industry cargoes are exported, with over 70% of them going through seaports. We expected the transport corridor to be extended to the metals and mining industry from the very beginning. Our products account for more than a third of total exports, and Ukraine generated more than USD 22 billion in foreign-exchange earnings from them last year," said Oleksandr Kalenkov, president of the Ukrmetallurhprom association of metallurgical enterprises.