Second ship under grain initiative leaves for Ethiopia
Ukraine's "Grain from Ukraine" initiative sees two ships setting sail from the country toward Ethiopia as part of Kiev's commitment to its initiative.
A second vessel has set sail from Ukraine for Ethiopia as part of the "Grain from Ukraine" initiative, the Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry said on Sunday. According to the ministry, the ship took off from Ukraine with 30,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat on board.
"The process of loading and departure of the vessel BC Callisto. It is carrying 30,000 tonnes of wheat for Ethiopia. This is the second vessel sent within the framework of the 'Grain from Ukraine' program, launched by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in partnership with the UN World Food Programme," the ministry said in a statement.
The first ship under the initiative brought 25,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat to Ethiopia, media reported earlier in the day, citing the head of the Ukrainian President's Office Andriy Yermak.
Zelensky said in November that the "Grain From Ukraine" international humanitarian project would help stabilize food security in poverty-stricken countries, such as Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen.
Zelensky announced the initiative as the heads of governments of Hungary, Belgium, Lithuania, and Poland were on a visit to Kiev.
The deal stipulates that Ukraine send at least 60 ships to select countries by the end of spring 2023. The countries are namely Ethiopia, Sudan, South Africa, Somalia, Yemen, Congo, Kenya, and Nigeria.
This came months after a UN-brokered deal established in late July a humanitarian maritime corridor for ships transporting food and fertilizer from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports. The deal was signed jointly by Russia and Ukraine.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated on numerous occasions that the majority of ships carrying Ukrainian grain did not make it to the world's poorest countries and instead ended up in Europe. Moscow has also maintained that the deal's provision for Russian food products is ineffective.
Meanwhile, several countries are at risk of dwindling grain supplies, such as Somalia, Yemen, Niger, and Lebanon, to name a few.
Additionally, Russia announced it had suspended the UN-brokered grain deal after Kiev waged drone attacks on Russian ships in Crimea's Sevastopol.
A day later, it was reported that a total of 218 ships that were intended to export grains remain stuck as a result of that suspension.
Then Russia demanded Ukraine provide it with "commitments" not to use the grain exports corridor for military purposes.
Since Putin stated that he had obtained these guarantees from Ukraine, he announced that he instructed the Ministry of Defense to resume the grain deal operations.