The first Ukranian grain-loaded ship to set sail from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion five months ago passed inspection in Istanbul, Turkey, and headed for Lebanon on Wednesday, as Ukraine said 17 other ships were “loaded and awaiting permission to leave.” according to Aljazeera.
The voyage of the Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni, which began in the Black Sea port of Odessa, is being closely watched for signs of how the historic agreement signed by Moscow and Kyiv since Russia invaded its territory is holding. pro-western neighbor, informs Aljazeera.
Furthermore, they mention that the deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations last month lifted a Russian naval blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea cities and set conditions for millions of tons of wheat and other grains to start flowing from Ukraine’s overflowing silos and ports.
Ukraine exports about half of the sunflower oil used on the world market and is one of the world’s leading grain suppliers.
A near cessation of its exports helped push up world food prices and made imports prohibitively expensive in some of the world’s poorest countries.
The Razoni carried 26,000 tons of corn through a specially designated corridor in the mine-infested waters of the Black Sea before reaching the northern end of the Bosphorus Strait on Tuesday.
The passage of the ship is being supervised by an international team that includes Russian and Ukrainian officials in Istanbul.
A team of 20 inspectors from the two warring parties, the UN and Turkey donned orange helmets and boarded the ship early Wednesday for a mandatory inspection that authorities said lasted less than 90 minutes.
Al Jazeera’s Sinem Koseoglu, reporting from Istanbul, said inspectors were double-checking their documents and products that had been loaded on board before leaving Odessa.
“Today is a historic day, as it has been a delicate test for the JCC… and there are other vessels to follow.”
The 186-meter (610-foot) long ship will move to the Marmara and Aegean seas before reaching the coast of Lebanon in the coming days.