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First grain-carrying ship leaves Odesa for foreign markets

The Ukrainian port of Odesa saw on Monday, for the first time since the Russian invasion blocked shipping through the Black Sea, a grain-laden ship leave for foreign markets.

The vessel’s departure was brought about thanks to the grain-and-fertiliser export agreement between Russia and Ukraine brokered by the UN and Turkey last month.

“The first grain ship since #RussianAggression has left the port. Thanks to the support of all our partner countries and the UN we were able to fully implement the Agreement signed in
Istanbul,” Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Twitter.

The first 🇺🇦 grain ship since #RussianAggression has left port. Thanks to the support of all our partner countries & @UN we were able to full implement the Agreement signed in Istanbul. It’s important for us to be one of the guarantors of 🌏 food security.

— Oleksandr Kubrakov (@OlKubrakov) August 1, 2022

For its part, the Turkish defence minister said earlier that the corn-carrying Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni will head to Lebanon.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has triggered food and energy crises and price hikes worldwide, the consequences of which have been mostly felt by African and Middle Eastern countries whose agrifood sector has been heavily reliant on Ukrainian and Russian grains. Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat exports. The United Nations have warned of the risk of famine in multiple countries this year.

The worked-out deal aims to allow safe passage for grain shipments in and out of Chornomorsk, Odesa and the port of Pivdennyi. Ukrainian presidential officials have said that the number of ships docked in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports amounted to 17, with almost 600,000 tonnes of cargo in total. As many as 16 vessels held Ukrainian grain with a total
tonnage of about 580,000 tonnes.

Prevent world famine together with @UN, @EU_Commission, #G7. The first ship left the Odesa port since 24.02.2022

— Oleksandr Kubrakov (@OlKubrakov) August 1, 2022

Moscow has denied responsibility for the food crisis, blaming Western sanctions for slowing exports and Ukraine for mining the approaches to its ports.

Regardless of the breakthrough in the grain shipments, the war operations continued with Russian missiles on Sunday pounding Mykolaiv, a port city on the River Bug estuary off the Black Sea that borders the mostly Russian-occupied Kherson region.

Over 12 missiles struck the city, according to its Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych. The projectiles hit homes and schools, with two people confirmed killed and three wounded. Ukrainian grain tycoon Oleksiy Vadatursky, founder and owner of agriculture company Nibulon, and his wife perished in their homes, as reported by Mykolaiv Governor Vitaliy Kim on Telegram.

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