After landmark Russia - Ukraine deal, first grain ship leaves port of Odessa

The vessel was carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn, according to Ukraine's infrastructure minister Oleksandr Kubrakov

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, August 01, 2022, 01:58 PM IST
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The ship Razoni has left the port of Odessa bound for Tripoli in Lebanon | Twitter/@OlKubrakov

As per a landmark deal signed earlier this month, the first shipment of Ukrainian grain left the port of Odessa on Monday under a deal aimed at relieving a global food crisis following Russia's invasion of its neighbour, the Turkish defence ministry said.

"The ship Razoni has left the port of Odessa bound for Tripoli in Lebanon. It is expected in Istanbul on August 2. It will then continue its journey after it has been inspected in Istanbul," the ministry said.

The vessel was carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn, according to Ukraine's infrastructure minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.

Russia has been blockading Ukrainian ports since February, but the two sides agreed a deal to resume shipments.

It is hoped the deal will ease the global food crisis and lower the price of grain.

In a statement issued ahead of the ship's departure, Turkey said the Sierra Leone-flagged vessel would dock in Lebanon, adding that further shipments were planned over the coming weeks.

The Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul set up under the deal said the ship was carrying some 26,000 tonnes of corn and was expected to arrive in Turkish waters for inspection on Tuesday.

"Today Ukraine, together with partners, takes another step to prevent world hunger," Kubrakov wrote on Facebook.

"Unlocking ports will provide at least $1 billion in foreign exchange revenue to the economy and an opportunity for the agricultural sector to plan for next year."

Kubrakov added that 16 other ships were waiting to depart in the ports of Odesa Region in the coming weeks.

Turkey formally opened a special joint coordination centre in Istanbul last Wednesday to oversee the exports. The centre is being staffed by civilian and military officials from the two warring parties and delegates from Turkey and the UN.

Their primary assignment involves monitoring the safe passage of Ukrainian grain ships along established routes and overseeing their inspection for banned weapons on the way into and out of the Black Sea.

The blockage of deliveries from two of the world's biggest grain exporters has contributed to a spike in prices that has made food imports prohibitively expensive for some of the world's poorest countries.

UN estimates say nearly 50 million people began to face "acute hunger" around the world as a direct consequence of the war.

(with inputs from agencies)

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