The number of cargo ships leaving Ukrainian ports for grain shipment under a UN deal has reached to 105 as of Thursday, according to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.
The war-torn country shipped almost 2,5 million tonnes of grain products such as wheat, corn and barley since the beginning of August, the report said.
While the transfer of 39 ships carrying Ukrainian grain to the designated ports has been completed, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday slammed the deal brokered by the UN and Turkey, saying Ukrainian grain exports were not going to the world’s poorest countries as originally intended.
Russia and Ukraine sealed a deal on July 22 in Istanbul for resuming Ukraine’s grain exports that were stalled since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February. Following the agreement, the United Nations and Turkey opened a joint center with Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul to coordinate the delivery of the grain via the Black Sea. The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni, loaded with corn was the first ship to depart Ukraine’s Odessa port for Lebanon on Aug.1.
Twenty-one ships out of 39 whose transfers were completed sailed to the Turkish ports, four to Egyptian and Italian ports and three of them to Romanian ports, while the remaining others anchored to ports in Ireland, England, Djibouti, Netherlands, Greece, Israel and Spain, Anadolu said.
Speaking at an economic forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, Putin said he would get in touch with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss amending the deal signed in July to restrict which countries can receive shipments, Reuters said.
“What we see is a brazen deception … a deception by the international community of our partners in Africa, and other countries that are in dire need of food. It’s just a scam,” Putin said, adding that only two ships went to poor countries. He accused Western countries of acting as colonial states.
“Almost all the grain exported from Ukraine is sent not to the poorest developing countries, but to European Union countries,” Russian president said.