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Minister: First ship with Ukrainian grain leaves Black Sea port through temporary corridor

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 19, 2023 3:09 PM 2 min read
The Resilient Africa cargo vessel leaving Ukraine's port of Chornomorsk on the Black Sea on Sept. 19, 2023. (Oleksandr Kubrakov/Facebook)
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The Palau-flagged Resilient Africa bulk carrier loaded with 3,000 metric tons of wheat has left the Black Sea port of Chornomorsk and is moving towards the Bosphorus, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov reported on Sept. 19.

Resilient Africa and another cargo vessel, Aroyat, have become the first civilian ships that agreed to enter Ukrainian ports after Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July. They are expected to deliver 20,000 tons of grain to African and Asian countries.

Aroyat is still docked in the Chornomorsk port while loaded with Ukrainian wheat for Egypt, Kubrakov said on Facebook.

According to the official, the vessels are flying under the flag of the island nation of Palau, and their crews consist of Turkish, Azerbaijani, Egyptian, and Ukrainian citizens.

Blinken: Russia’s war in Ukraine is ‘assault on global food system’
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Moscow for withdrawing from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, emphasizing that “hunger must not be weaponized.”

Following Russia's unilateral termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Ukraine's navy announced a new temporary corridor for civilian ships on Aug. 10.

The route was primarily meant to allow passage for ships stuck in the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdennyi since the start of the full-scale invasion. As of Sept. 16, five vessels have been evacuated through the temporary corridor, Kubrakov reported earlier.

Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative in mid-July after repeated threats to do so and has since been targeting Ukraine's agricultural infrastructure, ports, and grain stockpiles.

Brokered by Turkey and the U.N. in July 2022, the grain deal was originally meant to guarantee the safe passage of ships transporting Ukraine's agricultural exports from the Black Sea during the invasion.

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