Two more grain ships leave Ukraine: Türkiye

Two more ships have left Ukrainian ports under the Istanbul grain export deal, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said on Aug. 22.

"The shipment of grain at Ukrainian ports continues as planned under the control of the Joint Coordination Center," the ministry said in its statement.

On July 22, Türkiye, the U.N., Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal in Istanbul to reopen three Ukrainian ports for the export of Ukraine grain, which had been stuck for months due to the Russia-Ukraine war, now in its sixth month.

Around twenty million tons of grain are stuck in Ukraine, as a result of the blockade imposed by Russia on Ukrainian ports after the start of the war on Feb. 24.

To oversee Ukrainian grain exports, the Joint Coordination Center (JJC) in Istanbul was officially launched on July 27, comprising of representatives from the three countries and the U.N. to enable safe transportation by merchant ships of commercial foodstuffs and fertilizers.

The deal aims to create safe Black Sea shipping corridors to export Ukraine's desperately needed agricultural products. Checks on ships by inspectors seek to ensure that outbound cargo ships carry only grain, fertilizer, or food and not any other commodities and that inbound ships are not carrying weapons.

The agreement also guarantees Russia the right to export its agricultural products and fertilizers despite Western sanctions.

The JJC has allowed 36 ships to move from and to Ukraine for grain shipment between Aug. 1 and 15. According to official data, Ukraine has already sent 563,317 tons of food products from 21 ships departing from its ports.

Egypt is the top wheat importer from Ukraine with Indonesia following, then comes Türkiye, Yemen and the Philippines.

Continue reading on: