In a step intended to ease food supply restrictions, a cargo ship filled with grain departed from the Ukrainian port of Odesa for the first time under the landmark deal signed by Ukraine, Russia, and Türkiye, overseen by the UN.
According to a statement released by the UN, the Razoni, carrying a cargo of 26,527 tonnes of corn, is the first cargo ship to leave a Ukrainian Black Sea port since 26 February, just a few days after the Russian invasion began. It is bound for the Mediterranean port of Tripoli, in Lebanon.
Responding to these developments, UN Secretary-General welcomed the step saying that ensuring “existing grain and foodstuffs can move to global markets is a humanitarian imperative.”
The deal dubbed a “beacon of hope” by Mr. Guterres when it was signed in the Turkish city of Istanbul on 22 July, is a “collective achievement” of the newly-established Joint Coordination Centre, or JCC, set up in Istanbul, under the auspices of the UN, by representatives from the three governments who inked the deal, known officially as the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
In the meantime, the JCC said it had agreed on the specific coordinates and restrictions for what it termed the Safe Humanitarian Maritime Corridor, “and has communicated those details in accordance with international navigation procedures.”
“The JCC has requested all its participants to inform their respective military and other relevant authorities of this decision to ensure the safe passage of the vessel.”
The plan also paves the way for Russian food and fertilizer to reach global markets, all of which it is hoped will help reduce soaring food prices worldwide, and avert the possibility of famine afflicting millions in the months ahead.
Since the deal was inked, the parties involved “have been working tirelessly” to begin the process of shipping grain and cereals out from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.