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Reuters: First ship with Ukrainian grain arrives at Bosphorus through temporary corridor

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 21, 2023 4:05 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 Resilient Africa bulk carrier, which is loaded with 3,000 metric tons of Ukrainian wheat, has arrived at the Bosphorus, Reuters reported on Sept. 21.

On Sept. 19, the Palau-flagged Resilient Africa became the first ship with Ukrainian grain to leave a Black Sea port through the temporary corridor that was set up by Ukraine following Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July.

The corridor 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.

Five ships have been evacuated through the temporary corridor since it was established in mid-August.

However, the Resilient Africa and another cargo vessel, the Aroyat, are the first civilian ships that have agreed to enter Ukrainian ports since the collapse of grain deal.

The Aroyat is still docked in the port of Chornomorsk while being loaded with Ukrainian wheat for Egypt, according to Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.

The two ships are expected to deliver 20,000 tons of grain to African and Asian countries, Kubrakov said.

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

Moscow refused to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2023, causing spikes in wheat prices and fears about food security worldwide.

On Sept. 7, Ukraine submitted an official proposal to Turkey to restore a corridor in the Black Sea for Ukrainian grain exports without Russia's participation, Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasyl Bodnar announced.

The idea is "rational" because cargo ships already travel through Romanian, Bulgarian, and Turkish territorial waters of the Black Sea, the ambassador said.

Ukraine ready to take neighbors to court as continued grain bans threaten exports
Kyiv may be gearing up for a legal battle with three of its neighbors as it now fights to free its grain on its western borders. In defiance of the European Commission’s Sept. 15 decision to lift an embargo on the domestic sale of Ukrainian agricultural products in five
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