The commercial port of Odessa and two others on the Black Sea have resumed operations for the export of Ukrainian cereals, as established in the agreement signed last week between Ukraine and Russia to unblock the grain and alleviate the world food crisis. These are the ports of Pivdennyi and Chornomorsk, as well as Odessa, Ukrainian navy sources were quoted as saying by the Ukrinform portal.
"In connection with the signing of the agreement on grain unblocking, work resumed in the designated ports. The departure and arrival of ships from the ports will be carried out in the form of a caravan accompanying the guide ship," the navy source said on its Facebook account.
Earlier this week, the Ukrainian authorities announced their intention to resume shipments of grain destined for import on Wednesday, following the agreement that makes it possible to unblock them.
The announcement of the agreement was followed on Saturday by attacks on the commercial port of Odessa, denounced by Kiev and the international community as attempts by Russia to undermine the agreement, which aims to alleviate the global food crisis precipitated by the lack of Ukrainian grain. In the days that followed, there were further attacks on infrastructure in the Odessa region, although the Ukrainian side maintained its plan to unblock these shipments.
The control and supervision of these tasks is the responsibility of Turkey, as the guarantor of an agreement - together with the UN - that Russia and Ukraine signed separately in Istanbul. The so-called Joint Coordination Centre began preliminary work and training of its teams last Friday after the agreement was announced.
The aim is to get some 22 tonnes of wheat, maize and other grains stored in silos in these three ports to international markets.