More than 17 million tons of grain have been carried via the Black Sea grain corridor Türkiye helped broker last year in a bid to avert a potential food crisis amid the Russia-Ukraine war, said an official statement on Saturday.
"The shipment of grain from Ukrainian ports continues safely as planned," the Turkish National Defense Ministry said. So far, at least 643 grain-loaded ships left Ukrainian ports, according to the ministry statement.
Last July, Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022.
A joint coordination center with officials from the three countries and the UN was set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.
The first ship carrying grain departed on Aug. 1, 2022 from the Ukrainian port of Odesa under the historic deal. Türkiye, internationally praised for its unique mediator role between Ukraine and Russia, has repeatedly called on Kyiv and Moscow to end the war through negotiations.