3 grain ships sail from Ukraine's Black Sea ports

by IANS |

Kiev, Aug 5 (IANS) Three cargo ships carrying grain left Ukraine's Black Sea ports of Odesa and the adjacent port of Chornomorsk on Friday, Infrastructure Minister Alexander Kubrakov announced.

"The first convoy carrying Ukrainian grain has sailed from the ports of Greater Odessa," Kubrakov said.

The vessels are reported to be carrying 57,000 tonnes of maize, reports dpa news agency.

The ships are reported to be the Turkish freighter Polarnet, the Navi Star, which sails under the flag of Panama, and the Rojen, which is under a Maltese flag.

According to the Ukrainian authorities, the ships will first sail to Istanbul for inspection and then on to Britain and Ireland.

The unladen Fulmar S, sailing under a Barbadian flag, is reported by the Turkish Defence Ministry to have left Istanbul, where it has undergone inspection, bound for Chornomorsk.

The first grain freighter to leave a Ukrainian port after a months-long blockade, the Razoni, left Odesa on Monday also carrying maize.

After inspection proceeding through a corridor agreed by the warring parties, it was inspected in the Bosporus off Istanbul, before proceeding to the Lebanese port of Tripoli.

The shipments are seen as essential for stabilizing grain prices on global markets amid fears of famine in the Middle East and Africa.

Kiev has for the present limited sailings to three per day for security reasons

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