Empty cargo ship arrives in Ukrainian water to load grain

4 more ships planned to leave Ukrainian ports on Sunday, says Turkish National Defense Ministry.

Empty cargo ship arrives in Ukrainian water to load grain

The first empty ship since a landmark deal last month arrived on Saturday evening in the territorial waters of Ukraine, where it will be loaded with grain for export, an official confirmed.

Currently located off Odesa, the Barbados-flagged Fulmar S. merchant vessel is expected to go on to Chornomorsk to be loaded with grain that has been stuck in Ukraine for months due to the war with Russia.

Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov confirmed the Fulmar S.'s arrival, saying on Twitter that the next step would be to ensure the ability of the country's ports to "handle more than 100 vessels per month."

Meanwhile, the Turkish National Defense Ministry announced on Twitter that four more ships, one from Odessa and three from Chornomorsk, are planned to depart on Sunday.

One more vessel is also expected to enter Ukrainian waters on Sunday, it added.

Thanks to Türkiye's diplomatic efforts to unblock Ukraine grain exports, the Sierra Leone-flagged vessel Razoni was the first grain ship that left the port of Odesa on Monday since the war began in February. The ship, with over 26,500 tons of corn, passed through the Turkish Straits after it got security clearance in Istanbul on Wednesday, when it set sail again for its ultimate destination, Lebanon.

So far, four ships, carrying a total of over 84,500 tons of grain, have departed Ukraine's ports to make their deliveries that many believe will help ease the global food crisis.

On July 22, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal in Istanbul to reopen three Ukrainian ports for export of Ukraine grain, which had been stuck for months due to the Russia-Ukraine war, 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 the three countries and the UN to enable the safe transportation by merchant ships of commercial foodstuffs and fertilizers.