Updated Aug 1, 2022 - World

Grain ship departs Ukraine port for first time since Russian blockade

Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni departs from port of Odesa in Odessa, Ukraine on Monday.
A Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship, Razoni, departs from the port in Odesa, Ukraine, on Friday as part of a recent grain export deal signed between Turkey, the UN, Russia and Ukraine. Photo: Turkish National Defense Ministry/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A ship carrying grain left Ukraine's port of Odesa on the Black Sea on Monday.

Why it matters: The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship the Razoni is the first vessel to leave a Ukrainian port under an agreement between Ukraine and Russia, which was brokered by the United Nations with the help of Turkey.

Details: The Razoni is carrying more than 26,000 tons of corn and was due to arrive in Turkish territorial waters on Tuesday before "proceeding to its final destination in Tripoli, Lebanon," according to a UN statement.

What they're saying: A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement welcomed the departure of the first vessel to leave Ukraine under the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed in Istanbul last month.

  • "Ensuring that existing grain and foodstuffs can move to global markets is a humanitarian imperative," the spokesperson said.
  • "The Secretary-General hopes that this will be the first of many commercial ships moving in accordance with the Initiative signed, and that this will bring much-needed stability and relief to global food security especially in the most fragile humanitarian contexts."

What's next: Turkey's Defence Ministry said in a statement that more grain ships would later depart via safe corridors, as agreed to in the landmark Istanbul deal.

  • The UN's World Food Programme plans to "purchase, load and ship" an initial 30,000 tons of wheat out of Ukraine on a UN-chartered vessel," according to the UN spokesperson.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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