© Reuters. Liberia-flagged bulk carriers Eneida and Ying Hao 01 are seen in the sea as they leave the sea ports of Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near Odesa, Ukraine October 1, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer
KYIV (Reuters) – Five more ships are on their way to Ukrainian sea ports using a new corridor opened to resume predominantly agricultural exports, an alternative arrangement to the Black Sea grain deal blocked by Russia, a top Ukrainian official said on Sunday.
“5 new vessels are waiting to be loaded in Ukrainian ports,” Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on the X social media platform.
“Bulk carriers OLGA, IDA, DANNY BOY, FORZA DORIA, NEW LEGACY are going to export almost 120,000 (metric) tons of Ukrainian grain to Africa and Europe,” he added.
Kubrakov also said that three bulk carriers – Azara, Ying Hao 01 and Eneida – left Ukrainian ports earlier on Sunday using the “temporary corridor established by the Ukrainian Navy” and carrying 127,000 tons of agricultural products and iron ore.
The three cargo vessels are the latest to sail since Kyiv set up a temporary “humanitarian corridor” after Russia quit a deal allowing safe passage for Ukraine’s exports.
After it invaded Ukraine last year, Moscow closed off the Black Sea ports of one of the world’s biggest suppliers of grain, in what Kyiv and its Western backers called an attempt to use global food supplies as blackmail.
Moscow said the ports could be used to bring in weapons.
The ports were reopened in July 2022 under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey that allowed Russia to inspect ships for arms.
Moscow quit the deal a year later and reimposed the blockade, saying its demands for better terms for its own food and fertiliser exports were being ignored.