The United Nations and Turkey brokered the safe passage deal between Moscow and Kyiv after the United Nations warned of outbreaks of famine due to grain shipments from Ukraine being halted.
The Turkish Defence Ministry said on Twitter the Panama-flagged Navistar, carrying 33,000 tonnes of corn bound for Ireland, left from Odesa.
The Maltese-flagged Rojen, carrying 13,000 tonnes of corn, left Chornomorsk bound for Britain.Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, sparking the biggest conflict in Europe since World War Two and fuelling a global energy and food crisis. Ukraine and Russia traditionally produce about one third of global wheat and Russia is Europe’s main energy supplier.On Friday, two grain ships set off from Chornomorsk and one from Odesa, with a total of about 58,000 tonnes of corn.
In addition, the Turkish-flagged ship Polarnet, carrying 12,000 tonnes of corn, departed Chornomorsk for the Turkish Black Sea port of Karasu.The Turkish bulk carrier Osprey S, flying the flag of Liberia, was expected to arrive in Chornomorsk on Friday to load up with grain, the regional administration of Odesa said.
Some Western leaders have accused Russia of using a stand-off over gas supplies to heavily dependent Europe as a pretext to cut supplies as winter approaches in revenge for Western sanctions.