These ships, the Resilient Africa and Aroyat, recently navigated the Black Sea using an unconventional route.
Ukrainian port authorities confirmed their arrival on Saturday. They also highlighted that this event was the first since the bilateral agreement with Russia to guarantee vessel safety, crumbled.
The Resilient Africa and Aroyat have assembled diverse crews hailing from Ukraine, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Egypt.
Furthermore, their mission is to load a substantial cargo of 20,000 tonnes of wheat, destined for global markets.
Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov welcomed this achievement, underlining its significance amid ongoing maritime tensions.
Withdrawal from Deal Raises Tensions
Kyiv proclaimed the use of this maritime corridor after Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from the UN-backed agreement for facilitating grain exports.
Russia’s withdrawal cited concerns that certain aspects of the deal had not been upheld.
The repercussions of this geopolitical dispute extended to a threatening stance by Russia toward civilian ships en route to Ukraine.
Just recently, the UK accused Russia of targeting a vessel with multiple cruise missiles while it was docked in Ukraine.
Tonnes of Grain Trapped
This development holds immense significance due to Ukraine’s prominent role as a global supplier of crops.
However, during Russia’s invasion in February 2022, its navy blockaded Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Consequently, it effectively trapped 20 million tonnes of grain that had been ready for export.
This event had dire consequences, leading to a surge in world food prices and threatening shortages in MENA countries that heavily rely on food imports from Ukraine.
Countries such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan, and Ethiopia continue to grapple with urgent humanitarian food requirements.
Amidst the maritime tensions, Russia has also intensified its focus on targeting Ukrainian port infrastructure.
Ports such as Izmail and Reni, key hubs for Ukraine’s grain exports since July, have faced repeated attacks from Moscow.