Beirut (AFP) – The first shipment of Ukrainian grain since Russia’s invasion is expected to dock in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli on Sunday, state media and the Ukrainian embassy said.
The Razoni ship, flying the flag of Sierra Leone, left the Ukrainian port of Odessa last Monday with 26,000 tons of maize and called in Turkey the next day.
The delivery is the first under a UN-backed deal, brokered with Turkish help last month, which aims to ease a global food crisis.
The ship is expected to reach Tripoli on Sunday morning, the Lebanese National News Agency (NNA) said.
“His arrival is scheduled for 10 a.m. (0700 GMT) at the port of Tripoli,” a spokesman for the Ukrainian embassy told AFP.
Kyiv said another 16 grain-laden ships were waiting to depart, three of which left on Friday.
Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters, has resumed exports following the deal, which aims to release millions of tons of trapped Ukrainian produce onto world markets.
A similar agreement ensures that Russia can export products and fertilizers despite Western sanctions.
On Wednesday, the Razoni was cleared through the Bosphorus Strait by a team of Russian and Ukrainian inspectors.
The ship’s passage is overseen by an international team that includes officials from Turkey, the United Nations and the two warring parties.
The blockage of deliveries from two of the world’s largest grain exporters has contributed to a price spike that has made food imports prohibitive for some of the world’s poorest countries.
Turkey hopes the agreement will build trust and pave the way for a ceasefire between Kyiv and Moscow.
© 2022 AFP