Four more grain freighters leave Ukrainian ports

Istanbul: Four more freighters loaded with sunflower oil and maize have left Ukrainian ports, the Turkish Defence Ministry announced on Sunday.

In a tweet, the Ministry said the vessels bound for China, Turkey and Italy will stop in Istanbul to be inspected, reports dpa news agency.

In total, eight freighters have left Ukraine since an agreement to end a war-related port blockade was signed late last month.

Under the deal, Ukraine pledged to guide the ships through waters that have been mined and Russia promised to not target the ships and certain port infrastructure.

The deal’s brokers, the UN and Turkey, are helping safely coordinate the exports and monitoring the shipments to make sure the vessels are not smuggling weapons into the war zone.

The shipments are seen as essential for stabilizing grain prices on global markets amid fears of famine in the Middle East and Africa.

Last week, the freighter Razoni was the first ship to leave Ukraine for Lebanon with Ukrainian grain since the Russian war in began on February 24.

The ship is not to dock in its final destination in Lebanon on Sunday as initially planned, however, Ukraine’s Embassy in Beirut said.

The Embassy did not give an explanation for the postponement.

“The update for the ceremony will be sent later when we get information about the exact day and time of the arrival of the ship,” the mission said in a statement.

Ukraine, known as the breadbasket of Europe, was the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil; the third largest exporter of rapeseed and barley; the fourth largest exporter of maize; and the fifth largest exporter of wheat before Russia began its ongoing invasion.

–IANS

 

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