ISTANBUL: A grain-carrying ship that was scheduled to depart from Ukraine's Chornomorsk port under a UN-brokered deal on Thursday (Aug 11) was unable to set sail due to bad weather conditions, Turkey's defence ministry said.
The deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey between Russia and Ukraine has allowed 12 ships to depart from Ukraine's Black Sea port since Aug. 1.
The agreement was reached last month after warnings that the halt in grain shipments from Ukrainian ports due to the conflict could lead to severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world.
"A ship whose departure from Chornomorsk Port for grain shipment was planned for today could not set sail due to bad weather and sea conditions," Turkey's defence ministry said.
The Ocean Lion, the biggest ship to depart Ukraine so far, was at anchor in the Sea of Marmara, near the southern end of Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait after leaving Ukraine on Tuesday.
Two other ships, the Sacura and the Mustafa Necati, were anchored close by, while the Rahmi Yagci was anchored on the northern end of the Bosphorus.
The Razoni, the first ship to leave Ukraine, was initially headed to Lebanon but the Ukrainian embassy there said the buyer refused delivery due to a delay of five months.
It was anchored off Turkey's southern coast on Thursday morning, according to Refinitiv ship tracker data.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb 24, in what Moscow calls a "special operation" to demilitarise its neighbour, the two countries together accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports.
The resumption of grain exports is being overseen by a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel are working.
The Turkish defence ministry, in its statement, also said that two grain ships had been inspected in Istanbul on Wednesday and were on their way to Ukraine but gave no further details.
It also said that ships in Ukrainian ports were being loaded, but did not elaborate.
Two empty cargo ships, the Fulmar S and the Osprey S, arrived in Ukraine in the past week to collect grain after being inspected by a JCC team in Istanbul.