Bosphorus Strait closed to barge running aground
The Bosphorus Strait has been closed down after a ship coming from Urkaine ran aground, stopping maritime traffic through the waterway.
A vessel on its way from Ukraine to Istanbul, Turkey, ran aground in the Bosphorus Strait, rendering the waterway closed to traffic, the Turkish Directorate General of Coastal Safety said in a statement.
"Tugs KURTARMA-5, KURTARMA-6, KURTARMA-9, KURTARMA-12, NAZIM TUR, and boats KEGM-3, KEGM-5 were sent to the scene of the incident to the 173-meter cargo ship LADY ZEHMA," the watchdog said on Twitter.
The authority explained that the ship "ran aground due to rudder failure while sailing from Ukraine to Istanbul. Vessel traffic in the Istanbul [Bosphorus] Strait is suspended.
The Turkish Defense Ministry had announced earlier today that five ships loaded with grain had left the Ukrainian ports, as part of a deal on foodstuffs with one of the countries.
Earlier this week, the Joint Coordination Center run by the United Nations, Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey said Lady Zahma had been allowed to leave the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk for Ravenna, Italy, with 3,000 tons of corn on board.
Senior Turkish and United Nations officials announced that officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the United Nations have reached an agreement on major components of a plan to resume Ukrainian grain shipments through the Black Sea.
Officials from the four sides agreed during a conference in Istanbul to build a coordination center in Istanbul where their representatives would oversee outbound grain shipments, according to Turkey's Defense Minister.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov signed a grain deal mediated by the United Nations in Istanbul.
Previous attempts to reach an agreement on a Black Sea grain corridor had fallen through, in part because Ukraine is unwilling to remove sea mines that it claims are critical to guarding against an alleged Russian naval attack.
Ukrainian authorities are demanding security guarantees in exchange for the removal of any of their mines, claiming that they simply cannot trust Russia not to attack once the war started in February.