NewsWorldFirst ship departs Odesa under landmark grains deal

First ship departs Odesa under landmark grains deal

The first ship departed Odesa under a landmark grains deal on Monday (August 1), carrying Ukrainian grain to Lebanon, Ukrainian and Turkish officials said.

The Sierra Leone-flagged ship ‘Razoni’ left the Ukrainian Black Sea port on Monday morning bound for Lebanon under a grain deal struck between Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations and Turkey to avert a global food crisis.

The ship was carrying more than 26,000 tonnes of corn and would undergo an inspection in Istanbul before continuing to Lebanon’s Tripoli, the U.N.-led Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) said, adding it had requested all parties to inform militaries to ensure its safe passage.

It’s the first departure since the Russian invasion blocked shipping through the Black Sea five months ago.

The ship will anchor off the coast of Istanbul around 1200 GMT on Tuesday (August 2) for a joint inspection, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Monday.

Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat exports. But Western sanctions on Russia and fighting along Ukraine’s eastern seaboard have prevented grain ships safely leaving ports.

The deal aims to allow safe passage for grain shipments in and out of three Odesa region ports in Chornomorsk, Odesa and Pivdennyi.

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