Four more grain ships leave Ukraine to ease the global food crisis

More ships carrying grain leave Ukraine ports
Millions of tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine
The first ship left a week ago
26,000 tonnes of corn
A day of relief
Preventing world hunger
They fulfilled the promise that more ships would follow
Famine in the Middle East and Africa
Moscow denies any responsibility for the food crisis
Ukraine’s ambassador in the US celebrated the deal
Moscow must end attacks on Ukraine’s land
Bombing continues
Three civilians killed by Russian bombs
The Kremlin keeps trying to occupy the whole of Donetsk
A whole crew stuck in Odesa
Risk of naval mines
Turkey inspection
A 120-day deal
More ships carrying grain leave Ukraine ports

Four ships carrying grain and other agricultural products sailed from Ukrainian ports on Sunday, heading to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Millions of tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine

Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest grain producers, and millions of tonnes of grain have been stuck in Ukraine due to Russian blockades, leading to shortages and higher food prices in other countries.

The first ship left a week ago

The first of the ships carrying Ukrainian corn grains left the port of Odesa for Lebanon in early August for the first time since the start of the Russian invasion, according to Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry.

26,000 tonnes of corn

After weeks of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, led by Turkey and the United Nations, The Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni, carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn, finally set sail.

Image: Pierre Bamin/Unsplash

A day of relief

Ukraine's foreign minister called it "a day of relief for the world", especially for countries threatened by food shortages and hunger because of the disrupted shipments.

Preventing world hunger

Oleksandr Kubrakov (pictured), Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, said: Ukraine, together with our partners, has taken another step today in preventing world hunger.”

They fulfilled the promise that more ships would follow

Kubrakov stressed that Ukraine had done everything to restore the ports and said the lifting of the blockade would give Ukraine’s economy $1bn in foreign exchange revenue, adding that more ships would follow.

Famine in the Middle East and Africa

The blockade has caused a worldwide grain shortage and price rises, which pushed some countries that are reliant on grain imports, mainly in the Middle East and Africa, towards famine.

Moscow denies any responsibility for the food crisis

The Kremlin called the Razoni's departure “very positive” news, according to Reuters, but denied any responsibility for the food crisis, blaming Western sanctions instead.

Ukraine’s ambassador in the US celebrated the deal

“Progress in getting grain to feed millions around the world,” U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink said in a tweet, marking the ship’s departure.

Moscow must end attacks on Ukraine’s land

However, Brink added that, while it’s positive news, Moscow must end its assault on Ukrainians and their agricultural land. 

Bombing continues

The milestone departure came as Russian forces continued to pound cities across Ukraine, threatening to upend the grain deal as they seek to press their offensive in the east and hold onto territory they've already seized in the south.

Three civilians killed by Russian bombs

Three civilians were killed by Russian shelling in Donetsk region, 24 hours before the departure of ‘Razoni’, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.

The Kremlin keeps trying to occupy the whole of Donetsk

An industrial city and transport hub, Bakhmut has been under Russian bombardment as the Kremlin's forces try to occupy all of the Donetsk region.

A whole crew stuck in Odesa

On the other hand, a junior engineer on the vessel, Abdullah Jendi, who is Syrian, told Reuters all the crew were very happy to be moving after their prolonged stay in Odesa (Ukraine).

Risk of naval mines

Nevertheless, he also said that they were scared of naval mines. “We need around two to three hours to exit regional waters. We hope that nothing will happen and that we will not commit any mistake”, he told Reuters.

Turkey inspection

The latest ships to set sail are bound for Turkey where they'll be inspected as part of the deal reached with Russia and the United Nations. They left on Sunday from the ports of Odesa and Chornomorsk, and will all travel through the Bosphorus strait.

A 120-day deal

After the inspections, two are then scheduled to dock in Turkey, while the others are headed for Italy and China. The deal, set to last 120 days, can be renewed if both sides agree.

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