Aug. 1 (EIRNS)—This morning, the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, carrying 26,000 tons of corn (maize), left the Ukrainian port of Odessa destined for Tripoli, Lebanon. It is the first ship to leave Odessa under the auspices of the UN/Turkey-brokered deal signed with Ukraine and with Russia on July 22 by which Ukrainian grains will be shipped to world markets. Turkey’s Defense Ministry announced today’s departure, reporting that the Razoni will arrive in Istanbul on Aug. 2 where it will be inspected before passing through the Bosphorus Strait and heading for its destination. It was escorted out of Odessa by Ukrainian ships.
TASS reports that the joint grain export coordination center, based in Istanbul, will use satellites to monitor the passage of ships. According to the Associated Press, there are 16 more dry cargo ships in Odessa in line to ship out under the program. Today’s departure was welcomed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who said he hoped this would be first of many Ukrainian ships to leave the port carrying urgently needed grains to “bring much-needed stability and relief to global food security especially in the most fragile humanitarian contexts.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov welcomed this “very positive” development. “Let’s hope that all the agreements will be implemented from all sides and that the mechanism will work effectively,” TASS reported him as saying.