Nearly 30 vessels have left Ukraine’s ports this month, the defense minister says
Since the beginning of the month, 27 grain ships have departed from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports under a UN- and Turkish-brokered deal signed by Moscow and Kiev, Turkey’s defense minister revealed on Saturday, adding that this development lays “The foundation for permanent peace.”
“A total 53 ships have been sailing for grain shipment since August 1. 27 of these vessels left from Ukrainian ports.,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said at Istanbul’s Joint Coordination Center, speaking alongside UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
As part of the grain deal in July, the center was set up to oversee shipments from Ukraine into global markets. The center also ensures that safe transit routes are maintained for Black Sea deliveries.
Guterres touted the shipping operations as “Amazing and inspirational,” adding that more than 650,000 metric tons of grain and other food products “Are already making their way to international markets.”
“Today, as I was passing Odessa Port, I saw the first-hand loading of wheat on board a ship. It was amazing to see the grain fill the vessel’s hold.,” he said. “This was the lifting of hope that so many people around the globe needed..”
The secretary general’s comments were echoed by Akar, who noted that the unimpeded exports would help alleviate “the food crisis affecting the whole world, especially [for]Sensible pricing.”
After Russia’s military intervention in the neighbouring country in February, major wheat producers in Ukraine were unable to deliver their goods. Both sides were blamed for the crises.
In late July, UN-brokered discussions in Istanbul reached an agreement to unlock grain exports via Black Sea. The goal is to preserve safe transit routes. It is expected that Russia will be able to supply fertilizers to the global market.
However, earlier this week, the Kremlin, commenting on a call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, noted that “Russian grain faces obstacles [exports] persist,” which has an adverse effect on the world’s food security.
Guterres addressed this problem to some extent, reiterating that “It’s important for all government agencies and private companies to work together in order to make this happen.” food and fertilizers to market.
“In 2022 without fertilizer, it is possible that there won’t be enough food by 2023,” he warned. “To further stabilize commodity markets, it is crucial to get more fertilizer and food from Russia and Ukraine. This will help lower consumer prices..”