Three more ships carrying grain and foodstuffs set out from Ukrainian ports on Friday under a recent landmark deal, according to Türkiye’s National Defense Ministry.
The first ship, Panama-flagged Navistar, departed the port of Odesa for Ireland with 33,000 tons of grain, said the ministry in a statement. The ship will undergo inspection at the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul before it continues to sail to its final destination.
The second ship, Malta-flagged Rojen, left the port of Chornomorsk with 13,000 tons of grain for the UK, the ministry said, adding it is also being monitored by the Joint Coordination Center.
The third ship, Türkiye-flagged ship Polarnet, which was waiting at the port of Chornomorsk, sailed to the Karasu port in northwestern Türkiye. The ship, which is carrying 12,000 tons of grain, reaches Karasu, will also be inspected by a joint team in Istanbul.
Meanwhile, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said a Barbados-flagged merchant vessel, Fulmar S., headed to the port of Chornomorsk from Istanbul on Friday to collect grain from Ukraine after its inspections in Türkiye.
'Main goal is to increase shipments from Ukraine ports'
Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov also announced the departure of the three ships from the Ukrainian ports.
"Our main goal is to increase the transshipment volume in our ports. We have to provide the processing of 100 ships per month to be able to export the necessary amount of foodstuffs," he said.
The UN said on Thursday that lessons learnt during the first movement of Razoni ship.
"The JCC (Joint Coordination Center) has authorized this movement as a second ‘proof of concept,’ testing multi-ship operations in the corridor including an inbound ship. In addition, the corridor has been revised to allow for more efficient passage of ships while maintaining safety," it explained.
Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed the landmark deal on July 22 to reopen three Ukrainian ports – Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Yuzhny – for grain export that has been stuck for months due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which is now in its sixth month.
To oversee Ukrainian grain exports, the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul was officially launched on July 27, comprising representatives from Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine to enable the safe transportation by merchant ships of commercial foodstuffs and fertilizers from the three key Ukrainian Black Sea ports.
On Monday, the first ship to leave Ukraine under the agreement, Sierra Leone-flagged cargo vessel Razoni, departed from Odesa carrying over 26,500 tons of corn, got security clearance in Istanbul, and is on its way to the Lebanese port of Tripoli, its final destination.