The first ship carrying Ukrainian grain to world markets was sighted in the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey on Tuesday (August 2) ahead of an inspection scheduled for Wednesday (August 3) morning.
The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni, left the Ukrainian port of Odesa on Monday (August 1) and the Turkish Defence Ministry said it was expected to reach the entrance to the Istanbul straits around 9 p.m. (1800 GMT).
The vessel’s departure on Monday from the Ukrainian port of Odesa for Lebanon via Turkey under a July 22 safe passage deal has raised hopes of further such departures, which could help ease a burgeoning global food shortage.
Turkey expects roughly one grain ship to leave Ukraine’s Black Sea ports each day as long as the safe passage agreement holds, a senior Turkish official, who asked to remain anonymous, said on Tuesday.
The United Nations has warned of the risk of multiple famines this year because of the war in Ukraine.
Monday’s sailing was made possible after Turkey and the United Nations brokered a grain and fertilizer export agreement between Russia and Ukraine – a rare diplomatic breakthrough in a conflict that has become a drawn-out war of attrition since Russian troops poured over the border on Feb. 24.