According to the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority the 3,300 dwt general cargo vessel Resilient Africa and the 18,300 dwt bulk carrier Aroyat, both Palau flagged, docked at the Black Sea port on Saturday.
Reuters reported that Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov had confirmed that the ships are due to load almost 20,000 tonnes of wheat for Africa and Asia.
They are the first two vessels to arrive at a Ukrainian port since Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain agreement, which allowed ships safe passage for the transportation of grain.
Russian Defence Ministry statements suggest that vessels using Ukraine’s unilaterally declared Humanitarian Corridor could be considered legitimate targets.
According to Daniil Melnychenko, an analyst at the Odessa based transport consultancy, Informall, the arrival of the vessels proves, “That there is a safe passage for vessels arriving to the ports of big Odessa and there is no need in Russia to control and/or inspect these voyages.“
Melnychenko added: “It might be a reincarnation of a Grain Deal in a new format however, we should wait and see what happens to these vessels when they will be leaving the Black Sea; whether they will be suspended and inspected in the Bosphorus channel in Turkey as they used to be or if they will be treated like any other regular voyage and proceed through the channel without interruptions.”
Ukraine is literally testing the waters, in an effort to restart grain exports through the Humanitarian Corridor, which runs from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports along the coasts of Romania and Bulgaria to the Bosphorus Channel.
An unnamed UN source told Reuters: “While the UN is not involved in the movement of those vessels, we welcome all efforts for the resumption of normal trade, especially of vital food commodities that help supply and stabilize global food markets.”
“We continue our efforts to facilitate exports for agricultural products from both Ukraine and the Russian Federation,” he added.
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