KYIV: The first cargo ship to reach its final destination after departing from Ukraine under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv docked in Turkey Monday, Kyiv said, while a consignment due in Lebanon reported delays.
Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters, was forced to halt almost all deliveries after Russia’s invasion, but Black Sea exports recently restarted under a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey.
The Turkish cargo ship — the Polarnet — that reached its final destination left the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk last week carrying 12,000 tons of corn.
It arrived in Turkey as scheduled after being inspected by the Joint Coordination Center established in Istanbul under the international agreement signed last month, Kyiv said.
“This first successful completion of the implementation of the ‘grain deal’ means it is possible to be optimistic about future transportation,” Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov was quoted as saying in a statement by the ministry.
The statement did not give the ship’s destination, but the website vesselfinder.com gave its location as the port of Derince, Turkey.
The deal brokered by Turkey and the UN lifted a Russian blockade of Ukraine’s ports and set terms for millions of tons of wheat and other grain to start flowing from silos and ports.
The Razoni was the first ship to leave Ukraine under the deal.
It left the port of Odesa on August 1 carrying 26,000 tons of corn and was expected in Tripoli in Lebanon this weekend but has yet to reach the destination.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Lebanon explained on social media that the consignment was delayed after the original buyer refused delivery, citing a five-month delay in shipment.
“The sender is therefore looking for another recipient. This may be in Lebanon or in another country,” it added in a statement on Twitter.
Eight ships have left Ukrainian ports since the agreement was signed, Kyiv said Monday, and it hoped that between three and five ships would be able to depart daily within two weeks.