Two more grain ships have left Ukraine at the base

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Two more ships carrying grain left Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port on Tuesday (9 August), the Turkish Defense Ministry said, as part of a deal to unblock Ukrainian maritime exports, bringing to 12 the total number of ships that have left the country under a safe passage agreement, according to Euractiv.

The Ocean Lion left for South Korea carrying 64,720 tonnes of maize, it said, while the Rahmi Yagci was carrying 5,300 tonnes of sunflower meal to Istanbul.

The United Nations and Turkey brokered the deal last month after warnings that the halt in grain shipments caused by the conflict could lead to severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world.

Four ships that left Ukraine on Sunday are anchored near Istanbul and will be inspected on Tuesday, the defense ministry said in a statement.

Before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what it calls a “special operation” to demilitarize its neighbor, the two countries together accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports.

The resumption of grain exports is overseen by a Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul, where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel work.

Ukraine hopes to export 20 million tons of silage grain and 40 million of its new crop, the country’s economic adviser, Oleh Ustenko, said in July. The government hopes to make $10 billion for its battered economy from these volumes, but Ustenko said it could take 20 to 24 months to export them if the ports do not function properly.