The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the departure of the first grain ship from a Ukrainian Black Sea Port. The Razoni, carrying a cargo of over 26 000 tonnes of corn, is the first commercial cargo ship to leave the port of Odesa since 26 February, just a few days after the Russian invasion began.
It is bound for the Mediterranean port of Tripoli, in Lebanon. This comes after a landmark deal was reached between the warring parties in Istanbul on 22 July. Guterres called the movement of shipments to world markets a humanitarian imperative.
“This ship, the Merchant Vessel Razoni is loaded with two commodities in short supply: corn, and hope. Hope for millions of people around the world who depend on the smooth running of Ukraine’s ports to feed their families. The ship’s departure is the first concrete result of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. It has been a long journey since I presented a proposal to the leaders of the Russian Federation and Ukraine at the end of April. Today’s departure is an enormous collective achievement by the Joint Coordination Centre, set up last week in Istanbul under United Nations auspices, with representatives from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and Turkey.”
Russia and Ukraine recently signed an agreement for a grain deal:
Guterres called the departure of the first ship an important first step.
“Together with the agreed facilitation of the unimpeded access of Russian food products and fertilizers to world markets, it will bring relief and stability to global food markets and help tackle the global food crisis. Ensuring that grain, fertilizers, and other food-related items are available at reasonable prices to developing countries is a humanitarian imperative. People on the verge of famine need these agreements to work, in order to survive. Countries on the verge of bankruptcy need these agreements to work, in order to keep their economies alive.”