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Two More Ships Depart From Ukraine, Says Turkey’s Defense Ministry

Two More Ships Depart From Ukraine, Says Turkey’s Defense Ministry

Friday, 12 August, 2022 - 05:45
A Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Ocean Lion leaves the sea port in Chornomorsk after restarting grain export, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, Ukraine August 9, 2022. REUTERS/Serhii Smolientsev

Two more ships left from Ukraine's Black Sea ports on Friday, Turkey's defense ministry said, bringing the total number of ships to depart the country under a UN-brokered deal to 14 and marking the first export of wheat.

Belize-flagged Sormovsky left Ukraine's Chornomorsk port, carrying 3,050 tons of wheat to Turkey's northwestern Tekirdag province, it said.

Also, Marshall Island-flagged Star Laura departed from Pivdennyi and headed to Iran, carrying 60,000 tons of corn, Reuters reported.

The United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement last month after warnings that the halt in grain shipments caused by the conflict could lead to severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world.

Before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it calls a "special operation" to demilitarise its neighbour, the two countries together accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports.

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

Ukraine hopes to export 20 million tons of grain in silos and 40 million from its new harvest, the country's economic adviser Oleh Ustenko said in July. The government hopes to earn $10 billion for its shattered economy from those volumes but Ustenko said it could take 20 to 24 months to export them if ports are not functioning properly.

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