Saturday, September 23, 2023

Two ships arrive in Ukrainian port to load grain: officials


KYIV, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Two cargo ships arrived in Ukraine on Saturday, Ukrainian port authorities said. The first to use a temporary corridor to travel to Black Sea ports and load grain for African and Asian markets.

Ukraine last month announced a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea to free ships stuck in its ports since the war began in February 2022 and bypass a de facto blockade after Russia abandoned a deal that allowed Kiev to export grain.

Five ships have left the port of Odessa via the corridor that encircles the western coast of the Black Sea near Romania and Bulgaria.

Ukraine, one of the world’s leading food producers and exporters, also wants to use the corridor for its food exports.

The Ukrainian Seaport Authority said in a post on Facebook that the bulk carriers Resilient Africa and Aroyat had arrived at the port of Chernomorsk.

They were supposed to load almost 20,000 tons of wheat for Africa and Asia, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Kubrakow had previously explained.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture said on the messaging app Telegram that the wheat would be sent to Egypt and Israel.

“Although the United Nations is not involved in the movement of these ships, we welcome all efforts to resume normal trade, particularly in essential food products that help supply and stabilize global food markets,” a UN official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“We continue our efforts to facilitate the export of agricultural products from both Ukraine and the Russian Federation,” he added.

The cargoes are a test of Ukraine’s ability to reopen sea routes at a time when Russia is trying to re-impose its de facto blockade after abandoning the grain deal in July. Moscow has frequently launched drone and missile attacks against Ukraine’s grain export infrastructure.

The Black Sea Grain Agreement was negotiated by the United Nations and Turkey in July 2022 to combat a global food crisis exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine and Russia are among the world’s leading grain exporters.

This week, Ukraine carried out several attacks with drones and sea missiles against the Russian Black Sea Fleet in and around the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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