Four more ships left Ukrainian ports under the July 22 Istanbul grain export deal, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
Two ships departed from the Ukrainian port of Chernomorsk, while the others from Odessa and Yuzhny ports, the ministry said on Twitter.
It added that a ship coming from Ukraine and five others going to Ukraine will also be inspected in the north of Istanbul.
Türkiye, the United Nations, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal last month to resume grain exports from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports of Yuzhny, Chernomorsk and Odessa, which were halted due to the Russia-Ukraine war, now in its sixth month.
A Joint Coordination Center (JCC) with officials from the three countries and the U.N. has been set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited the JCC on Saturday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Defense Minister Hulusi Akar during his visit to the JCC, the U.N. chief thanked Türkiye for its “pivotal role” in the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
“Another part of the deal is unimpeded access to global markets of Russian food, and fertilizer, which are not subject to sanctions,” he said, adding that it is “important” that all governments and the private sector cooperate to bring them to market.
Guterres noted that every member of the delegations represented at the JCC – Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish and U.N. – have been working with dedication and professionalism.
“They embody what we can achieve with political will, top operational expertise, and collective effort,” he said.
Highlighting that the “critical agreement” already showed its potential, “We are at the beginning of a much longer process,” he said.
He underlined that more than 650,000 metric tons of grain and other food are already on their way to markets around the world.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also said Saturday that as many as 51 ships sailed following the deal, 27 of them departed from Ukraine.
On the amount of grain exported, Akar said, “We consider that this number will gradually increase.”