Cargo ship from Ukraine temporarily halts traffic in Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait

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A cargo ship carrying Ukrainian peas ran aground in Istanbul due to a rudder failure Monday, briefly suspending traffic in the Bosphorus, officials said.

The Palau-flagged MKK-1 cargo vessel was carrying 13,000 tons of peas from Ukraine under a UN-backed agreement that Turkey helped broker between Moscow and Kyiv in July.

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It ran aground on the Asian side of Istanbul early Monday, suspending traffic in both direction of one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the Istanbul governor’s office said.

Media reports said it was refloated with the help of Turkish tugboats a few hours later.

Marine traffic websites showed the ship slowly moving through the Bosphorus later on Monday.

The narrow Istanbul strait witnesses numerous accidents that briefly suspend traffic and require intervention from Turkish coast guards.

The July agreement has allowed Ukraine to export more than 17 million tons of grain and other foodstuffs from three ports, helping reduce a spike in global food prices caused by Russia’s invasion.

The deal was extended for 120 more days in mid-November.

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