First large grain ship sails from Black Sea port in Ukraine.
This marks the second bulk carrier to depart from the port.
The ports were reopened under a UN-backed grain trade agreement.
The first significant vessel carrying grain from a Ukrainian Black Sea port has departed since Russia exited a trade agreement in July that permitted exports, according to a Ukrainian deputy prime minister.
This move is part of Kyiv’s efforts to circumvent Russia’s de facto blockade.
Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced that the ship named Aroyat “left the port of Chornomorsk after loading 17,600 metric tons of Ukrainian wheat for Egypt.”
He shared this information on the X social media app (formerly Twitter) and posted a photo of the ship at sea.
This marks the second bulk carrier to depart from the port this week using what Kyiv refers to as a new temporary humanitarian corridor.
The first, a much smaller vessel called Resilient Africa, left on Tuesday, carrying a cargo of just 3,000 tons and testing the route.
After invading Ukraine last year, Moscow closed off the Black Sea ports, which were among the world’s largest grain suppliers.
Kyiv and its Western allies criticized this move, calling it an attempt to manipulate global food supplies for political purposes. Moscow claimed the blockade was necessary to prevent weapons from entering Ukraine.
In July 2022, the ports were reopened under a UN-backed grain trade agreement, allowing Russia to inspect ships for arms.
However, a year later, Russia withdrew from the agreement and reinstated the blockade, citing unmet demands for better terms for its own food and fertilizer exports.
Last month, Ukraine announced the establishment of a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea, initially using it to release ships not covered by the grain trade agreement and carrying non-grain cargo.
To date, five vessels have utilized this corridor, which runs along the Romanian and Bulgarian coastlines.
While its Black Sea ports were closed, Ukraine continued exports from river ports along the Danube.
Russia has launched numerous drone and missile attacks on Ukrainian grain export infrastructure, which Ukraine and its allies have deemed unjustified. Moscow insists it is targeting military objectives.
During Russia’s invasion, Odesa’s three seaports, including Chornomorsk, shipped tens of millions of tons of grain under the UN-brokered agreement before Russia withdrew from it.