First ship carrying Ukraine wheat under U.N. deal docks in Turkey


FILE PHOTO: The Belize-flagged general cargo ship Sormovskiy 121 is seen at the sea port in Chornomorsk after restarting grain export, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Odesa region, Ukraine August 12, 2022. Press service of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The first ship carrying Ukrainian wheat to be exported under a U.N.-brokered deal arrived in Istanbul on Sunday, the Joint Coordination Centre based in the Turkish city, said.

The Belize-flagged vessel is the first to carry wheat from Ukraine through the Black Sea since Russia's invasion. The Sormovsky was loaded with 3,050 mt of wheat and had left Ukraine's port of Chornomorsk on Friday.

Reuters footage showed the ship crossing the Bosphorus Strait and docking there, awaiting inspection.

It was the first shipment of wheat from Ukraine, which, along with Russia, accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports before Feb. 24, when Moscow launched what it describes as a "special operation" to demilitarise its neighbour.

A total of 18 ships have now departed from Ukraine over the past two weeks, following the deal with Russia to allow a resumption of grain exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports, after they were stalled for five months due to the war.

The agreement, brokered by the United Nations along with Turkey, was reached last month amid fears that the loss of Ukrainian grain supplies would lead to severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world.

(Reporting by Yoruk Isik and Ece Toksabay; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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