War against Ukraine: Turkish freighter sailed from Mariupol

As of: 06/22/2022 3:04 p.m

A Turkish ship has left the port of Mariupol. According to Turkey, it is “the first foreign ship to leave the Ukrainian port of Mariupol” since it came under Russian control.

By Uwe Lueb, ARD Studio Istanbul

Talks about grain exports from the Russian-Ukrainian war zone have led to initial successes. According to consistent reports from Russia and Turkey, the Turkish freighter “Azov Concord” has left the port of Mariupol. The Turkish Defense Ministry said it was “the first foreign ship to leave the Ukrainian port of Mariupol” since it was taken by Russian troops in May. The freighter had previously been waiting for the departure for days.

Different information at the time of departure

The exact time is unclear. According to Russian information, the ship left the port last night. The AFP news agency, citing the Turkish Ministry of Defense, writes that it expired today. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the port of Mariupol is fully operational again.

This was preceded by negotiations between Turkish and Russian military delegations in Moscow yesterday. They want to clarify how ships can safely leave Ukrainian ports. The ports are mined. It is mainly about cargo ships with grain. For weeks there have been international efforts to allow the ships to leave. Whether the Turkish freighter was loading grain was not specifically mentioned by the Turkish ministry.

Further talks are to follow

According to Turkish media reports, further talks are to take place in Istanbul in the coming weeks. Negotiators from Russia, Ukraine, the UN and Turkey are supposed to find a solution for the faltering grain exports from Ukraine.

Millions of tons of wheat are stuck in Ukrainian ports that are under Russian control or blocked by Russian troops. Internationally, it is feared that blocking grain exports could trigger a global hunger crisis. An export is also dangerous because of the sea mines in the waters. Turkey traditionally maintains good relations with both Ukraine and Russia and has been trying to mediate between the conflicting parties since the beginning of the war.

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