Wheat ships leave Ukrainian ports despite Russia’s withdrawal from export deal

New Delhi: The ships are the most recent to depart Ukraine since Russia withdrew from a July agreement that permitted crucial grain exports to leave Ukraine in an effort to ease the world’s food shortages.

On Monday, without a hitch, at least ten ships departed from Ukrainian ports.

After accusing Ukraine of using drones to attack its navy in the Black Sea, Moscow announced that it was ending the export agreement.

“The movement of these vessels has been agreed by the Ukrainian, Turkish and UN delegations. The Russian delegation has been informed,” the Istanbul-based International Coordination Centre told French news agency AFP.

More than 9.5 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain have been exported thanks to the deal, which created a safe route for vessels to sail to Istanbul for inspection.

On November 19, the agreement is scheduled to be extended. On Monday, Russia stated that it cannot ensure the safety of passage and that the agreement would be “barely feasible” without its involvement.

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In the following days, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will communicate with his colleagues from Russia and Ukraine to continue attempts to maintain the accord in effect despite Russia’s reservations.

Last Saturday, when Russia withdrew from the deal permitting supplies from Black Sea ports to Turkey, grain exports from Ukraine by sea were blocked. Moscow attributes the stoppage to drone strikes on its ships in Crimea.

The EU pushed Russia to change its mind last weekend.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, asserted on Twitter that Russia was obstructing 176 ships carrying two million tonnes of grain. He claimed that there was food in the container for seven million people.

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