First Ship Carrying Ukrainian Grain Completes Inspection in Turkey, Heads to Lebanon

Turkey said a team from the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul has completed inspections of the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain under an UN-brokered deal to resume world market exports.

The JCC team, which included officials from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations finished the joint inspections on the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo vessel carrying over 26,500 tons of corn to Lebanon.

The ship, which departed from the port of Odesa on Monday, entered the Istanbul Strait on Tuesday night.

The Turkish Defense Ministry posted pictures showing inspectors in an open container examining and touching the grain. “The Joint Inspection Team has completed its inspection activity on board RAZONI. The ship carrying some 27 thousand tons of corn will pass through the Bosphorus Strait to Lebanon,” the ministry tweeted.

On July 22, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the UN sealed an agreement to reopen three Ukrainian ports: Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny and agreed to resume grain exports aimed at alleviating world food shortages.

Reportedly, there are some 27 vessels with cargo and signed contracts still stuck in three Ukrainian ports since the Russian invasion in February.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar had earlier said that such deliveries from Ukrainian ports may accelerate after the successful first shipment.

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