Ankara [Turkey], August 1 (ANI): The Turkish Defence Ministry on Monday confirmed the departure of the first shipment with grain cargo from the Ukrainian port of Odessa, adding that the vessel is expected to reach the port of Istanbul on August 2.
Earlier, the ministry said that the first ship with grain cargo will depart from Ukraine on Monday at around 8:30 am (Turkish time).
Sputnik News Agency reported quoting Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Sunday that the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain will depart tomorrow morning.
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that grain exports via the Black Sea will begin in the coming days.
"With the beginning of maritime grain transportation in the coming days we will make an important contribution to the upcoming global food crisis," TASS news agency quoting Erdogan reported.
Erdogan had also said that Turkey would continue its efforts to solve the Ukrainian crisis diplomatically.
"We are resolved to continue diplomatic efforts until peace between Russia and Ukraine is ensured. In the near future, we hope to receive encouraging news at talks and with contacts at all levels, including leaders," the Turkish President said further.
Meanwhile, a high-level UN trade official has said the world body will continue to stay engaged with partners in the European Union, the United States and Russia to understand any obstacles to grain exports in the wake of the deal with Ukraine.
This statement comes as the defence ministers of Russia and Turkey and the infrastructure minister of Ukraine met in Istanbul to ink an UN-brokered deal on grain exports that would allow Russia to export its grain and fertilizers, Washington Post reported.
The agreement has ended a wartime standoff that had threatened food security in several countries and cleared the way for exporting tons of Ukrainian grains.
The deal will enable Ukraine to export 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural products that have been stuck in Black Sea ports due to the war.
Notably, the deal will create provisions for the safe passage of ships. Moreover, a control centre will be established in Istanbul, staffed by UN, Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian officials, to run and coordinate the process and the ships would undergo inspections to ensure they are not carrying weapons.
Ukraine is regarded as the "breadbasket of Europe" supplying 10 per cent of the world's wheat, 12-17 per cent of the world's maize and half of the world's sunflower oil. Twenty-five million tonnes of corn and wheat - the entire annual consumption of all the least developed countries.
The West accused that Russia's actions have driven up prices in countries like the UK and the ongoing blockade has placed 47 million people around the world on the brink of humanitarian disaster.
Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, security experts say one of Moscow's earliest strategic aims quickly became apparent as its armoured columns advanced along the coast in an effort to seize Ukraine's coastline. (ANI)