Four ships carrying Ukrainian foodstuffs sailed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Sunday as part of a deal to unblock the country’s sea exports, Ukrainian and Turkish officials reported.
Ukraine’s sea ports authority said on Facebook that the four bulk carriers were loaded with approximately 170,000 tonnes of corn and other goods.
The resumption of grain exports is being overseen by a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel are working.
⚓️ Four dry cargo ships with agricultural products have left #Ukrainian ports and are heading to #Istanbul pic.twitter.com/SnEPWe56y9
— Johan (@Helpful_Hand_SA) August 7, 2022
The UN and Turkey brokered the deal last month after the organisation’s warnings of possible outbreaks of famine in parts of the world due to a halt in grain shipments from Ukraine that had squeezed supplies and sent prices soaring.
First foreign ship arrives to Ukraine
Earlier on Saturday, a foreign-flagged ship arrived in Ukraine for the first time since the beginning of the war to be loaded with grain. “We are gradually moving on to larger volumes of work. We plan to ensure the ability of the ports to handle at least 100 vessels per month in the near future,” Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakovhe said.
He also added that the country soon planned to involve Pivdennyi port in the implementation of the grain export initiative and expected that as a result Ukraine will be able to ship up to at least 3 million tonnes of goods a month.
First foreign-flagged ship arrives in Ukraine since start of war https://t.co/I89rC7prsb pic.twitter.com/nMLYLnxPVJ
— New York Post (@nypost) August 7, 2022
Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the countries together accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports.
The first grain transport delayed
Meanwhile, the first grain ship to leave a Ukrainian port under a deal brokered last month will not arrive in Lebanon on Sunday as planned, the Ukrainian embassy in Lebanon announced.
For the first time since February 24 ship leaves Odesa sea port with 26,000 tons of Ukrainian corn.
This is cargo RAZONI, which is sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone to the port of Tripoli in Lebanon.
Video – spokesperson of Odesa governor. pic.twitter.com/4oyacYrhez
— Maria Avdeeva (@maria_avdv) August 1, 2022
The cargo ship left Odesa on the Black Sea early last Monday carrying 26,527 tonnes of corn and was set to dock on Sunday in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli. No details on a new arrival date or the cause of the delay have been provided.
Ukrainian harvest heavily impacted by the war
In July, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the country’s harvest could be halved due to the Russian invasion.
Earlier that month, Ukrainian authorities accused the Russian forces of deliberately destroying the wheat crops that farmers were able to cultivate this year.
Photographer for @AP Yevheniy Maloletka: "This is what the Ukrainian front line and the border with Russia look like now. Russian troops are shelling Ukrainian grain fields and do not allow the firefighters and farmers themselves to put out the fire." https://t.co/azrX4llzyQ pic.twitter.com/Xw2dK3gAhu
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) July 31, 2022