First Ukraine grain ship passes inspection in Turkey and heads to Lebanon

First grain ship to leave Ukraine and the Black Sea to a. cross under wartime Deal passed the inspection in Istanbul on Wednesday and left for Lebanon. Ukraine said 17 other ships were “loaded and awaiting permission to leave,” but there was no word yet on when they might depart.

A UN statement said a joint civilian inspection team spent three hours examining the cargo and crew of the Sierra Leone-flagged ship Rajoni, which sailed from Odessa on Monday carrying Ukrainian corn.

The team at the Joint Coordination Center, comprising officials from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations, signed deals last month to build a secure Black Sea shipping corridor to export agricultural products to Ukraine’s desperately needed state, as Russia The war continues on its neighboring countries.

Ukraine is a major global grain supplier but the war had blocked most exports, so the July 22 deal was aimed at easing food security around the world. World food prices are rising in crisis due to war, supply chain problems and COVID-19.

Although US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described Rajoni’s visit as an “important step”, no other ships have sailed from Ukraine in the past 48 hours and no explanation has been given for that delay.

A UN statement said inspectors “received valuable information” from Rajoni’s crew about their journey through the Black Sea Maritime Humanitarian Corridor and that the coordination center was “fine-processing”.

Turkey’s Ministry of National Defense tweeted a photo of an inspector reaching into Razzoni’s hold and touching some of his 26,527 tonnes of corn for chicken feed. When the inspectors left the ship, Rajoni’s horn rang, and then he headed for Lebanon.

Checks try to ensure that outbound cargo ships carry only grain, fertilizer or food, and not any other items, and that inbound ships are not carrying weapons.

An estimated 20 million tons of grain – much of which was destined for livestock – has been stuck in Ukraine since the start of the 6-month-old war. Ukraine’s top diplomat said on Wednesday that more ships were ready to carry much-needed grain and food from the country’s Black Sea ports.

“Further ships are already ready for departure. They will depart from the ports that are part of the grain initiative according to the agreed schedule, and we hope that everything will work out and that the Russian Federation will not take any steps that destroy these Will make agreements,” Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba said at a joint press conference in Kyiv with his Estonian counterpart.

Kuleba said the UN-backed deal “is beneficial to Ukrainian farmers, it is beneficial to the Ukrainian economy, and it is beneficial to the world.”

“It is Ukraine now, which is literally saving the world from further rise in food prices and from hunger in individual countries,” he said.

Nevertheless, a Black Sea voyage carries significant risks because of the war. Two civilian ships struck explosive devices near the Bistre estuary of the Danube River last week, according to Bridget Dykun, a data reporter for Lloyd’s List, a global shipping publication.

Analysts say the first priority for officials is to bring out ships that have been stranded for months at the three Ukrainian ports involved in the deal. According to Lloyd’s List, sixteen grain-laden ships have been stuck at the ports of Odessa and Chernomorsk since the Russian invasion.

A UN official who helped negotiate a Russian deal with the United Nations aimed at ensuring the country’s unrestricted access to world markets for food and fertilizer says there are still obstacles to be overcome.

UN trade chief Rebecca Grinspan told a United Nations news conference by video from Geneva on Wednesday that some of the challenges Russia is facing in terms of finance, insurance, shipping and transportation of its grain and fertilizers by the United States and the European Union. The barriers have been clarified.

But she said there was still a major hurdle: for the private sector to accept that the UN-Russia agreement would enable their companies to send Russian grain and fertilizer to global markets without the threat of sanctions.

There are no US or EU restrictions on food or fertilizer exports, but companies in related sectors are reluctant to participate.

Russia’s war with Ukraine “has had a cooling effect on the private sector,” Grinspan said. “So, a significant portion of the private sector has closed its transactions in food and fertilizer.”

Grinspan, secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said some cereals and fertilizers were being exported from Russia but at very high costs. She explained that half of the increase in grain prices comes from an increase in transportation and logistics costs.

“That’s the pressure we want to reduce,” she said.

Grynspan said the US and EU clarifications are being evaluated by the private sector “as we speak.”

Grain stocks are expected to increase. Despite the war, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denis Schmihal estimated his country would produce 67 million tons of grain this year, up from 60 million tons last year.

A senior official from a major Ukrainian agricultural association estimated that Ukraine will have about 50 million tonnes of grain for export this year.

According to Denis Marchuk, deputy head of the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council, before the war, Ukraine exported about 5-6 million tons of grain per month.

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