Turkey says 2 more ships with grain from Ukraine departed

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Turkey says 2 more ships with grain from Ukraine departed

ANKARA: Two more ships carrying grain left from Ukraine's Black Sea ports on Saturday Aug 13 Turkey's defence ministry said, bringing the total number of vessels to depart the country under a UN-brokered deal to 16.

The ministry said that the Fulmar S left Ukraine's Chornomorsk port, carrying 12,000 tons of corn to Turkey's southern province of Iskenderun. The Marshall Island-flagged Thoe left the same port and headed for Turkey's Tekirdag, carrying 3,000 tons of sunflower seeds.

Another ship was to depart from Turkey to Ukraine on Saturday to buy grains, the statement said.

Ukraine's infrastructure ministry said on Saturday that 16 ships carrying 450,000 tons of agriculture products had left Ukrainian sea ports since August 8 under the deal that ensured safe passage for vessels.

The agreement, signed by Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations in July amid warnings of possible outbreaks of famine, allowed grain exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports to resume after being stalled for five months due to the war.

In less than two weeks, Ukraine had managed to export the same amount of grain from three ports as it had done by road for the whole of July, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

He said on Saturday that this has made it possible to reduce the severity of the food crisis.

Ukraine hopes to increase its maritime exports to over 3 million tons of grain and other agricultural products per month in the near future.

Ukraine and Russia are major grain exporters, and the blockade of Ukrainian ports has resulted in tens of millions of grain being trapped in the country, raising fears of severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world.