First Ship Carrying Ukrainian Grain Leaves Odesa Bound for Lebanon

The first ship carrying Ukraine grain left the port of Odesa on Monday destined for Lebanon, the first since the start of the Russian invasion in February.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba hailed the departure of the first shipment of grain as a “relief for the world.”

“The day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, as the first Ukrainian grain leaves Odesa after months of Russian blockade. Ukraine has always been a reliable partner and will remain one should Russia respect its part of the deal,” Kuleba tweeted.

The Joint Coordination Center (JCC), the Istanbul-based organization overseeing the exports, said that the bulk cargo ship M/V Razoni, flying the flag of Sierra Leone, is carrying “over 26,000 metric tons” of grain.

“Once it leaves Odesa, the ship is expected to arrive at the inspection location in Turkish territorial waters tomorrow, 2 August. Following inspection, it will proceed to its final destination in Tripoli, Lebanon,” JCC said in a statement.

Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Monday that the ship will be anchored off the coast of Istanbul on Tuesday 12:00pm local time.  

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Akar said efforts on grain shipments from Ukraine will continue, and hoped that the next ship to be set off Odesa port likewise without any disruptions.

The United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres “warmly welcomes” the departure of the M/V Razoni, the first commercial ship leaving Ukraine’s port of Odesa since 26 February 2022.

“The Secretary-General hopes that this will be the first of many commercial ships moving in accordance with the initiative signed, and that this will bring much-needed stability and relief to global food security, especially in the most fragile humanitarian contexts,” the UN said in a statement.

Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, Oleksandr Kubrakov thanked the UN and other partner countries for fully implementing the agreement signed in Istanbul.

“The first grain ship since Russian aggression has left port.  It’s important for us to be one of the guarantors of food security,” Kubrakov tweeted

On July 22, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN signed a deal on resumption of grain exports to the world market that has been stuck for months because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.


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