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Ship Loaded With Ukrainian Grain Leaves Turkey for Lebanon

The first ship loaded with grain to leave from Ukraine passed inspection in Turkey and has passed through the Bosporus. The Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni left Istanbul’s port on Wednesday, bound for Lebanon. Ukraine announced that there are another 17 ships that are loaded and waiting for permission to leave.

The grain has been stuck in Ukraine since the Russian invasion six months ago. The Razoni is carrying 26.5 tons of grain and is expected to arrive in Tripoli over the weekend.

The shipment comes after a United Nations- and Turkish-brokered agreement with Kyiv and Moscow. They signed a deal on July 22 to reopen three Ukrainian ports — Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny. A joint coordination center in Istanbul, made up of representatives from Turkey, the UN, Russia and Ukraine is overseeing Ukrainian grain exports by merchant ships from the three Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

A total of 27 ships are covered by the agreement, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, according to Reuters. Ukraine exported between 5 million and 6 million tons of grain – including wheat and corn – a month before Russia’s invasion.