Ukraine says ship carrying wheat leaves port for Egypt


A file photo of Vessel Aroyat. Photo :AFP

Sept 22, 2023. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas


A ship carrying wheat has left a Ukrainian port and was heading to Egypt, the second such trip since Russia reimposed its Black Sea blockade in July, Ukranian Infrastructure Minister said Friday.


The Palau-flagged Aroyat vessel left Chornomorsk after being loaded with 17,600 tonnes of grain, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on social media.

Ukraine is testing a new sea route that avoids international waters and follows those controlled by NATO members Bulgaria and Romania following Russia's withdrawal from a UN-backed grain export deal.

The first ship carrying 3,000 tonnes of wheat left the same port earlier this week.

Kubrakov said the destination for the first ship, the Resilient Africa, was Asia.

Kyiv had earlier successfully sent several cargo ships along the new route, without transporting Ukrainian grain.

Russia has not hit the new pathway, but it has stepped up attacks on Ukraine's Black Sea port infrastructure after abandoning the grain deal in July.

In late July, during his participation in the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for a “consensual solution to revive the UN-brokered grain deal in a way that takes into account the demands and interests of all parties and curbs rising grain prices.”

The grain deal in question, known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative, was signed by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN in Istanbul in July 2022.

The deal aimed to ensure the safe passage of tens of millions of tons of Ukrainian grains to many areas worldwide, including the Middle East, which heavily relies on Russian grain imports.

However, in early July 2023, Russia withdrew from the agreement, saying there were no grounds in the current period for remaining in the initiative.

Ukrainian forces in turn have been aiming to undermine Moscow's military control over the Black Sea, including with attacks on Russia-annexed Crimea.

Egypt, the world’s top wheat importer, used to get 80 percent of its imported wheat from Russia and Ukraine prior to the conflict.

Since then, Egypt has been diversifying its wheat imports, buying more grain from other European and Asian sources.

Ahram Online