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Three ships leave Ukrainian Black Sea ports with corn for Ireland, UK and Turkey

The Panama-flagged Navistar, carrying 33,000 Metric Tonnes of corn to Ringaskiddy in Ireland, departing Ukraine's Odessa Port (Images courtesy: Twitter/@tcsavunma)

Three more commercial vessels left the Ukrainian ports on Friday, carrying a total of 58,041 tonnes of corn through the maritime humanitarian corridor under the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The Panama-flagged Navistar, which departed from the Odessa Port, is carrying 33,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of corn to Ringaskiddy in Ireland.

The Turkish-flagged cargo ship Polarnet l, which was anchored in Chornomorsk port, also set off to Karasu on the Turkish Black Sea coast with 12,000 MT of corn. 

The third ship – Maltese-flagged Rojen – has also been authorized by the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) to move from Chornomorsk with a cargo of 13,041 MT corn destined to Teesport in the United Kingdom.

All ships will be inspected by a joint inspection team at the anchorage area in Turkish territorial waters in the north of Istanbul.

The JCC, which comprises of senior representatives from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and United Nations, has also authorized the inward movement of Barbados-flagged Fulmar S which will load grain from the Chornomorsk port.

The cargo ship, currently at anchorage at the inspection area near north west of Istanbul, will be the first vessel to sail to a Ukrainian port after Russia began its special military operation in the neighbouring country on February 24. 

Ukraine Grain

The Joint Coordination Centre team inspecting the empty Barbados-flagged Fulmar S, at the anchorage in the north of Istanbul

The development follows the so-far successful first shipment of grains from Ukraine through the Razoni which is carrying a cargo of 26,527 metric tonnes of corn to Tripoli in Lebanon. Having left the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa on Monday, the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship is expected to reach its destination on Sunday.

"Drawing from lessons learnt during the first movement of M/V Razoni, the JCC 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," the JCC said in a statement.

It further urged the commercial vessels stranded in the Ukrainian ports since February to depart to their pre-defined destinations as it will free up valuable pier space for more inbound ships to come in and carry food to global markets in line with the initiative.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Economy Taras Kachka has suggested that the initiative on the export of grain – signed by Ukraine, Russia and Turkey in Istanbul on July 22 – can be extended to other goods, like metallurgical products.

"This agreement is about logistics, about the movement of vessels through the Black Sea. What's the difference between grain and iron ore?" he said in an interview with the Financial Times.

Responding to Kachka's comment, Russian President Vladimir Putin's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow today that the Kremlin has not officially formulated any such deal so far.

"We need to understand how clearly this proposal will be formulated. In any case, here we need to understand that the solution of such issues is impossible without direct linkage with the restrictions that apply to our producers, in this case, metal producers. Therefore, there's a lot to discuss here," Peskov was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency Tass on Friday.

Also Read: First shipment from embattled Ukraine carrying 'corn and hope' on its way to Lebanon