Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Ukraine has resumed export of grains on Monday, with the first ship carrying grain leaving the Port of Odessa on Monday.
Last month, Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement brokered by Turkey and the UN which allows grains and fertiliser exports to resume through the Black Sea, according to Reuters reporting on Tuesday.
Ukraine’s exports were halted roughly five months ago when the war in the country broke out, with the first grain shipment under the new safe passage deal heading for Lebanon.
Razoni, the ship in question, is to transit the Bosporus Strait to the Mediterranean and deliver 26,527 tonnes of maize to the Port of Tripoli.
The agreement opens doors to resumption of exports, which will require naval mine clearance and establishment of a framework for safe transit of the conflict zone.
The UN pointed out that the war in Ukraine disrupted global energy and food supplies, warning that famines could break out this year as a result.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, noted in a video address on Monday that the shipment is “the first positive signal that there is a chance to stop the development of a world food crisis.”
Ukraine hopes to export approximately 20 million tonnes of grain from silos to clear them for this season’s crop, as well as roughly 40 million tonnes from this year’s harvest.
Russia rejects accusations that it is responsible for the looming food crisis, stressing that Western sanctions affected its exports and accusing Ukraine of laying naval mines around its ports.
Moscow described departure of the Razoni from Odessa as “very positive” news.
Hulusi Akar, Turkish Minister of Defence, pointed out that the ship is to anchor off Istanbul later today for an inspection by Turkish, UN, Russian and Ukrainian representatives.
Ukrainian authorities noted that 17 ships with nearly 600,000 tonnes of cargo, largely grain, were docked in ports in the Black Sea.
A German Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson described recent developments as “a glimmer of hope in a worsening food crisis.”
The US Embassy in Ukraine welcomed the resumption of grain export and expressed hope that it will pick up pace.