2/2 ©Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A worker unloads grains of wheat at a warehouse in the village of Tomilivka as Russia continues its attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv region, Ukraine, August 1, 2022.
by David Ljunggren
(Reuters) – A foreign-flagged ship arrived in Ukraine on Saturday for the first time since war broke out in February and will be loaded with grain, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said.
Ukraine is beginning to resume grain exports under the supervision of a joint coordination center in Istanbul, where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel work.
The United Nations and Turkey have reached an agreement after the United Nations warned of a possible outbreak of famine due to the disruption in grain supplies from Ukraine. Before the invasion, Russia and Ukraine together accounted for about a third of world wheat exports.
Kubrakov said the Fulmar S, a general cargo carrier flying the Barbados flag, is in the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk.
“We are doing (everything) to ensure our ports can receive and handle more ships. Specifically, in two weeks (time) we will be leveling up to at least three to five ships per day. “Planning to get in touch,” he wrote on Facebook (NASDAQ: ).
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the resumption of exports was positive, adding that security risks remain.
“The threat of Russian provocations and terrorist attacks remains. Everyone should be aware of this,” he said in a video address late Saturday.
“But if our partners fulfill their part of the commitment and guarantee security of supply, the global food crisis will indeed be solved.”
Kubrakov said Ukraine is eventually aiming to ship 3 million tons a month from its Black Sea ports.
“This event is an important market signal that (the grain transportation contract) is a safe and most importantly profitable business opportunity for shipowners to return to Ukrainian ports,” he said.
About 20 million tons of grain from last year’s harvest are still stuck in the country.