August 05 2022 - 06:44
Three grain ships set to leave Ukraine; Nato chief says Russia must not win
Three ships carrying a total of 58,041 tonnes of corn have been authorised to leave Ukrainian ports on Friday as part of a deal to unblock grain exports, as a Russian offensive forced Ukraine to cede territory in the east.
The first vessel carrying Ukrainian grain allowed to leave port since the start of the war set sail from Odesa on Monday bound for Lebanon, under a safe passage deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.
The Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul, which groups Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel, said two ships would leave from Chornomorsk and one from Odesa on Friday. "The three outbound vessels are estimated to depart in the morning from their respective ports," it said.
From Chornomorsk, the Polarnet would leave for Karasu in Turkey with 12,000 tonnes of corn and the Rojen would take 13,041 tonnes of corn to Teesport in Britain.
From Odesa, the Navistar would take 33,000 tonnes of corn to Ringaskiddy in Ireland.
The Turkish bulk carrier Osprey S, flying the flag of Liberia, was expected to arrive in Ukraine's Chornomorsk port on Friday, the regional administration of Odesa said. It would be the first ship to arrive at a Ukrainian port during the war. As of Thursday afternoon, Osprey S was anchored in the Sea of Marmara, about 1km off Istanbul's Asian coast, along with other ships waiting to cross the Bosphorus in to the Black Sea, according to a Reuters journalist.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, sparking the biggest conflict in Europe since World War 2 and causing a global energy and food crisis. Ukraine and Russia produce about one third of global wheat and Russia is Europe's main energy supplier.
Ukraine has called for the grain deal to be extended to include other products, such as metals, the Financial Times reported. "This agreement is about logistics, about the movement of vessels through the Black Sea," Ukraine's deputy economy minister Taras Kachka told the newspaper. "What's the difference between grain and iron ore?"