The first grain ship to depart Ukraine since Russia invaded has arrived in Turkish waters and completed inspections, Ankara says.
The Razoni, which carried 26,000 tonnes of corn, was inspected by officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations. It is unclear when the ship will be able to sail onward to Lebanon. Ukraine’s ports have been blocked since Russia invaded in February, intensifying food shortages worldwide.
Turkish and UN officials brokered a deal last month to allow the resumption of shipments. The Ukrainian navy will guide cargo ships through mined waters.
President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized the need for grain exports to become regular again in his usual evening address on Tuesday. “Our goal now is to have regularity: so that when one ship leaves the port, there are other ships as well – both those loading and those approaching the port,” he said. Additionally, he hoped exports would encourage Ukrainian farmers to plant seeds next season, easing food shortages elsewhere.
“This is a matter of food security for our country as well – we are now ensuring next year.”
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