The first of the ships to leave Ukraine reached its destination in Turkey on Monday as part of a deal to unblock grain supplies and avert a potential global food crisis.
The Turkish-flagged Polarnet docked at the port of Darien’s in the Gulf of Izmit, loaded with 12,000 tons of corn, off Kornomorsk on 5 August.
“This sends a message of hope to every family in the Middle East, Africa and Asia: Ukraine will not leave you,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba tweeted. “If Russia sticks to its obligations, the ‘Grain Corridor’ will preserve global food security.”
12 ships are now authorized to sail under a grain deal between Ukraine and Russia, brokered by Turkey, and the United Nations – ten outbound and two headed for Ukraine. Some 322,000 tonnes of agricultural products have left Ukrainian ports, the bulk of it being corn, sunflower oil, and soy.
The first ship to depart Ukraine, the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni, which left on Aug. 1, still hasn’t reached its destination in Lebanon and was anchored off Turkey’s southern coast on Sunday evening, according to the Marine Traffic website.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Defence Ministry said two more ships carrying corn and soybeans departed Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Monday.
The Sacura left Yuzhny carrying 11,000 tonnes of soybeans to Italy, and Arizona left Chornomorsk with 48,458 tonnes of corn bound for Iskenderun in southern Turkey.
Four ships that left Ukraine on Sunday are expected to anchor near Istanbul on Monday evening, the Defense Ministry said. They are due to be inspected on Tuesday.
Under the arrangement, ships leaving Ukraine are checked by officials from the three countries and the U.N. to ensure they carry only grain, fertilizer or food and not any other commodities. Inbound vessels are checked to ensure they are not carrying weapons.