The Barbados-flagged Fulmar S cargo ship is pictured in the Black Sea, north of the Bosphorus Strait, in Istanbul, Turkey on August 5, 2022.
Mehmet Caliskan | Reuters
United Nations – As world leaders gather for a second day of high-level talks at UN headquarters in New York, seven vessels carrying rare crops have quietly left Ukrainian ports.
The ships are sailing as part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a UN-backed deal aimed at easing Russia’s naval blockade and reopening three key Ukrainian ports. Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations and Turkey held talks on the creation of a maritime corridor in Istanbul earlier this year and signed a landmark agreement on July 27.
Before the war, Ukraine and Russia accounted for almost a quarter of the world’s grain exports, until those supplies came to a serious halt for nearly six months.
The first vessel left the Ukrainian port of Odessa on August 1, carrying more than 26,000 metric tons of corn. Since then, more than 180 ships carrying a total of 4.2 million metric tons have left Ukrainian ports.