Status: 01.08.2022 10:43 a.m.
For the first time in months, a cargo of grain left the port of Odessa. Ukraine is hoping for high revenues from the reopening of three ports under the grain deal.
For the first time since the beginning of the war of Russian aggression against Ukraine, a ship carrying grain left the port of Odessa. The “Razoni” cargo ship loaded with corn had left for Lebanon, CNN Türk television reported, citing the Turkish Defense Ministry. Other ships will follow. The freighter “Razoni” sails under the flag of the West African country of Sierra Leone.
“Today, Ukraine, together with its partners, takes another step towards preventing world hunger,” said Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. According to a United Nations-led international coordination group, the ship loaded more than 26,000 tonnes of maize.
Important source of income for Ukraine
Ukraine and Russia, brokered by the United Nations, each signed an agreement with Turkey separately in Istanbul to allow Ukrainian grain exports from three ports. According to Ukrainian sources, more than 20 million tonnes of grain from last year’s harvest are still awaiting export. It is urgent to empty the silos because of the new harvest.
Before the war of Russian aggression, Ukraine was one of the largest grain exporters in the world. For them, it is among other things billions of income from the sale of wheat and corn. Kubrakov said that by restarting the three ports, the Ukrainian economy could gain at least one billion US dollars (about 980 million euros) and allow planning in the agricultural sector. Another 16 ships were already waiting in Black Sea ports for their departure.
the parties in conflict as a source
Information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian parties to the conflict cannot be verified directly by an independent body in the current situation.
Control Center in Istanbul
Exports are controlled from a control center in Istanbul staffed by representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the United Nations and Turkey. The Bosphorus Strait, which crosses Istanbul, is the only sea route connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey has sovereignty over the Bosphorus.
Ships must be inspected when entering and leaving the Black Sea. At the request of Russia, it should be ensured that the ships do not have weapons or the like on board. Russia fears that Ukraine will buy weapons with proceeds from grain sales.
The “Razoni” cargo ship will be off the coast of the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul around 3:00 p.m. local time (2:00 p.m. CEST), Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told state news agency Anadolu. After anchoring, the joint delegation will inspect it. “Following ships will also do the same without any problems.”
The agreement covers the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny (Pivdennyj). Just a day after the deal, Russia bombed the port of Odessa, raising fears the grain deal could collapse.
Urgent need for food
Food from Ukraine is urgently needed on the world market – especially in Asia and Africa. The United Nations recently warned of the worst famine in decades. The UN and Turkey had evoked a sign of hope in times of war by signing the agreement with Russia and Ukraine.
Port operations in Ukraine were suspended for security reasons after the Russian invasion in late February. Moscow has been accused of blocking Ukrainian grain exports. In the agreement, Russia has now pledged to allow ships to navigate along a sea corridor and not to attack them or the ports involved.
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