The Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry reported Tuesday that a total of 33 cargo ships carrying about 720,000 tonnes of foodstuffs have left Ukraine since a deal to facilitate the export of grain out of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports was implemented.
The numbers show that the deal between Russia and Ukraine that was brokered by the UN and Turkey and signed in July has been a success. Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry said that in addition to the 33 ships that have left, another 18 are loading and are preparing to depart from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
The grain deal established a coordination center in Istanbul that is manned by officials from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the UN. The coordination center said the total amount of grain and foodstuffs exported since the deal was signed has reached 721,449 tonnes.
Under the deal, Ukraine agreed to escort ships out of its heavily mined ports and Russia agreed not to attack the areas while vessels were moving. Both Turkey and the UN have said they hope the grain deal could lead to more negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and, ultimately, a peace deal.
But there are no signs that peace talks will happen anytime soon as the US and other Western countries are pouring weapons into Ukraine and Ukrainian leadership insists they will take back the territory Russia has captured since February 24. On top of sending billions in arms into Ukraine, the US has abandoned diplomacy with Russia and played no role in brokering the grain deal.