On July 27, 2022, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN signed an agreement allowing resumption of Ukrainian grain exports, as well as Russian fertiliser and food exports, via the Black Sea even as the war in Ukraine continues.
Under the agreement, three Ukrainian ports (Odessa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi) will be kept open for cargo ships. Ukrainian vessels will escort cargo ships into international waters of the Black Sea to the Bosporus Strait in order to assure that the ships avoid mines set in the course of the Ukraine war. The cargo ships are then inspected in Istanbul and permitted to proceed on their own after clearing inspection. Ship inspections are performed by a team organized by the Joint Coordination Centre, including officials from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN. The agreement includes restrictions and rules on how the cargo ships must move on the Black Sea and types of permitted cargoes.
By 18th August, 18 cargo ships have departed from Ukrainian ports. Their arrival to the ultimate destinations have raised concerns, however. The first ship to leave Ukraine had sailed for Lebanon, but on August 15 docked in Tartus, Syria, home to a Russian naval base.