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Turkish Defense Minister Says Three More Ships Filled With Grain Set To Depart Ukraine.

The statement came days after the Sierra Leone-flagged grain ship Razoni set off from the Ukrainian port at Odesa on August 1 for the Lebanese port of Tripoli.

The statement came days after the Sierra Leone-flagged grain ship Razoni set off from the Ukrainian port at Odesa on August 1 for the Lebanese port of Tripoli.

Three more ships filled with grain will depart Ukraine on August 5 under a UN-backed agreement to resume exports of grain and other agricultural products through ports on the Black Sea, Turkey's defense minister said.

"It is planned that three ships will set sail tomorrow from Ukraine," the Anadolu state news agency quoted Defense Minister Hulusi Akar as saying.

He also said that an empty ship was expected to head toward Ukraine after being inspected in Istanbul.

Akar held talks with Ukraine's defense and infrastructure ministers to discuss the situation around grain deliveries, the statement added.

The statement came one day after the first ship passed Istanbul since the grain export deal was agreed. It had set off from the Ukrainian port at Odesa on August 1 for the Lebanese port of Tripoli.

Moscow and Kyiv agreed in a deal brokered last month by Turkey and the United Nations to resume shipments of wheat and other grain from three Ukrainian ports for the first time since Russia invaded in February.

The agreement calls for an international team that includes officials from Turkey, the United Nations, Russia, and Ukraine to oversee inspections and passage through the Bosphorus.

The team said in a statement that the first ship's successful passage offered "proof of concept" that the agreement can hold.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed the agreement's implementation by phone with UN chief Antonio Guterres, Ankara said. Details of the conversation were not disclosed.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

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