Kyiv: Three more ships carrying a total of 58,041 tonnes of corn will sail from Ukrainian ports on Friday under a Turkish-brokered deal to unblock grain exports. The development was confirmed by Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also discussed the deal’s implementation with the United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on phone. On Monday, the first ship carrying 26,000 tonnes of maize, sailed from Odessa for the Lebanese port of Tripoli.
On Wednesday, the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni was cleared for passage through the Bosphorus Strait by Russian and Ukrainian inspectors, reported AFP. An international team also oversaw the ship’s passage. The team includes officials from Turkey, Russia and Ukraine.
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According to reports, two of the ships that will leave on Friday will depart from southern Chornomorsk. Meanwhile, the third ship will leave from Odessa. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, all the ships will head for Karasu in northwestern Turkey, Ringaskiddy in southern Ireland and Teesport in northeastern England. Earlier this week, Ukraine claimed that it has a total of 16 ships loaded with grains ready to leave its ports.
Last month, Moscow and Kyiv signed the landmark deal with the mediation of the UN and Turkey to resume grain shipments from Ukraine from the Black Sea ports. Notably, Ukraine is one of the largest exporters of wheat and grains, including barley and maize. Over 20-25 million tonnes of Ukrainian grains have been stuck at Black Sea ports due to blockade by Russia and also because of landmines planted by Ukraine to prevent an assault by Russian forces.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.