TE24 International Desk:
The first grain ship to leave a wartime Ukrainian port was set to pass through the Bosphorus after an inspection on Wednesday, while a Turkish official said such supplies from Ukraine could increase after a successful first trip.
Rajoni left Odessa on the Black Sea. 26,527 tons of corn were transported to Tripoli, Lebanon early Monday morning. It anchored at the entrance to the Bosphorus Strait on Tuesday night, Reuters reported.
The sailing was made possible after Ankara and the United Nations brokered a grain and fertilizer export deal between Moscow and Kiev last month – a rare diplomatic breakthrough in a drawn-out war. The vessel was expected to enter the Bosphorus Strait at approximately 1130 GMT. ,
Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN staff working at a Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in nearby Istanbul followed the conclusion of the visit.
Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry also confirmed the completion of the inspection and said it had 17 more ships carrying agricultural products awaiting approval to sail.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ihor Ostash, told reporters that Razoni is expected to arrive in Tripoli in four to five days. The inspection crew boarded the Rajni, which was circumnavigated, after two boats took them from a small fishing port in Rumeli Feneri, Istanbul. A helicopter flew around it by two coast guard boats.
Grain exports from one of the world’s top producers, which had been stagnant for more than five months following Russia’s February 24 invasion, have been revived in a UN-brokered deal. The agreement aims to address global food shortages and rising prices.
After the first successful departure, a senior Turkish official said three of its ships could depart from its three ports in Ukraine’s Black Sea at any time instead of earlier plans.
If the export is not completed due to weather or inspection problems, the contract will be extended for one month at a time, officials said, with a 120-day period sufficient for Ukrainian silos to be emptied.
Added UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said more departures from Ukraine were planned for Wednesday, adding that about 27 ships were covered by the export agreement.
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