The grain ship sailed from the Ukrainian port of Odessa on Monday, according to an earlier agreement on safe passage, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov reported. The departure of the ship with grain for foreign markets was made possible by last month's agreement between Russia and Ukraine, which was signed with the mediation of Turkey and the United Nations.
The agreement covers the export of grain and artificial fertilizers, and this is the first departure of a ship from Odessa in five months after Russia blocked shipping through the Black Sea. "The first ship with grain since the Russian aggression has left the port.
Thanks to the support of all our partners and the UN, we were able to fully implement the Istanbul agreement," Kubrakov wrote on Twitter. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced earlier that the ship Razoni, which sails under the flag of Sierra Leone, was loaded with corn and was sailing towards Lebanon.
The Ministry also announces the departure of other ships from Odessa
Russia and Ukraine account for almost a third of global wheat exports, but Western sanctions against Russia and fighting along Ukraine's eastern sea border prevented safe sailing from ports on the Black Sea.
According to the agreement, ships with grain will set sail from Odessa, Chornomorsk and Pivdeni. The office of the Ukrainian president says that 17 ships with almost 600,000 tons of cargo are docked in Ukraine's Black Sea ports.
Sixteen ships should transport 580,000 tons of Ukrainian grain. Moscow rejects responsibility for the global food crisis and claims that Western sanctions are slowing exports and accuses Ukraine of undermining access to its ports.
However, despite the agreement on grain shipments, the war in Ukraine continues, and on Sunday the port city of Mykolaiv, which borders the Kherson region, which is almost entirely under Russian control, was bombed. The Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Center (JCC) asked all parties to inform military forces of the ship's passage to ensure safe passage.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that due to the war, Ukraine will harvest only half of the annual amount of grain.