Two More Cargo Ships Carrying Grain Leave Ukrainian Port Near Odesa

Two more cargo ships carrying grain have left Ukraine, the Infrastructure Ministry announced on August 9.

The ships were to travel across the Black Sea in a convoy headed toward the Bosphorus under a deal with Russia to ease agricultural exports from Ukrainian ports.

The ministry said on Facebook that the two ships departed from Chornomorsk, south of Odesa, carrying a total of 70,000 tons of grain and food. It said that one of the ships, the Rahmi Yaggi, was bound for Turkey with 5,300 tons of products, while the other, the Ocean Lion, was carrying some 65,000 tons of corn to South Korea.

With the departures a total of 12 ships have left three different Ukrainian Black Sea ports under the deal between Russia and Ukraine brokered late last month by the United Nations and Turkey.

Exports from Ukraine — one of the world’s biggest grain producers — had been halted by a Russian naval blockade and the Ukrainian mining of the ports.

The halt of grain shipments from Ukraine contributed to a spike in global food prices and caused concern about countries in the Middle East and Africa receiving enough grain and other commodities to feed their populations.

The resumption of grain exports is being overseen by a Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, and UN personnel are working.

The first ship to depart Ukraine under the deal brokered by the UN and Turkey reached its destination, Lebanon, on August 7, but the buyer refused the shipment citing a five-month delay, the Ukrainian Embassy in Lebanon said.

The ship was looking for another consignee to unload its cargo in Lebanon or any other country or port. It was off the coast of Turkey on August 9, according to the website MarineTraffic.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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