First grain-laden ship sails off the Port of Odessa

The Ukrainian foreign minister has hailed this move as a “day of relief”

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The first shipment of grains has embarked on a voyage off from the Port of Odessa first time since the war began in February.

Sierra Leone flagged, Razoni had made an exit from the port of Odessa at 9:48 am local and was carrying 26,000 tonnes of Ukrainian maize as stated by the Ministry of infrastructure.

The Russians and Ukrainians had signed a deal that allowed safe passage of Ukrainian grains out of the Ukrainian port to the export markets. However, Russia broke the deal within a few hours of signing it by firing Kalibr cruise missiles on the infrastructure of the port.

This was the first vessel that departed from the Black Sea port as Russia had initiated a naval blockade of Ukraine’s coast.

Turkey and the UN too negotiated a deal to allow safe passage of ships transporting food grains across the Black Sea.  The Razoni is due to arrive in Istanbul on Tuesday under this same deal and then head to the port of Tripoli in Libya.

This war has left over 47 million people vulnerable to acute food shortages as Ukraine and Russia are one of the largest exporters of wheat, maize and edible oils. The Ukrainian authorities have mentioned that there are another 16 ships awaiting departure.

“This is a welcome first step towards mitigating the global food crisis which was enhanced by Russia’s illegitimate aggression and blockage of Ukrainian ports, in addition to mining and destroying the fields in Ukraine,” said an EU official.

“We look forward to the implementation of the whole deal.  The negative consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and blocking the Ukraine ports are affecting the most vulnerable people in Africa, in Asia and the Middle East.” Added the official.

The American Embassy in Kyiv has that they have been watching for “continued implementation” of the agreement. The Ukrainian foreign minister has hailed this move as a “day of relief”.