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Three more ships loaded with grain cleared to depart from Ukraine

An additional three vessels carrying grain have been permitted to sail out from ports in Ukraine, according to the Turkish Ministry of National Defense. A deal between Russian and Ukraine about ensuring Ukrainian grain exports is thereby given the seal of approval.

Photo: STR/AFP / UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRE

Friday, three ships loaded with grain have set out from ports in Ukraine, according to Türkiye’s Ministry of National Defense along with eyewitnesses.

A deal struck between Russia and Ukraine – with assistance from Türkiye and the UN – about ensuring Ukrainian grain exports is thereby continuing.

Ukraine is usually one of the world’s biggest exporters of grain.

But since the Russian invasion, millions of tonnes of grain have accumulated in Ukraine, unable to reach world markets due to Russia’s blockade of the country’s ports.

The first ship carrying Ukrainian grain left the port city of Odesa on Monday. It was the first vessel loaded with grain to leave Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24.

Wednesday, the ship was inspected by Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye, and the UN in Istanbul in order to ensure that the shipment was in accordance with the agreement. After the inspection, the vessel was allowed to resume its voyage toward the end destination in Lebanon.

The successful inspection has been seen as a sign that the deal is working, and Friday three more ships left Ukrainian ports.

Combined, the vessels are carrying 58,000 tonnes of grian. Two ships have set out from Chornomorsk, while the third has left Odesa.

The ships are sailing to Ireland, the UK, and Türkiye, respectively.

Like the first vessel, they will all have to go through an inspection in Istanbul.

For this purpose, a joint center for coordination of Ukrainian grain exports has been established in the major Turkish city.

The center is placed in Istanbul due to the fact that the Bosporus Strait, which ships have to pass through in order to get from the Black Sea to the other oceans, cuts right through the city.

The UN deal ensures safe passage for vessels carrying grain from three southern Ukrainian ports. These are Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi.

English edit: Kristoffer Grønbæk

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