The 1st ship full of Ukrainian grain left the port of Odesa on Monday…
In a new deal between the two nations, Russia is allowing safe passage for Ukrainian grain vessels.
It remains to be seen if both sides will honor the deal, but some sources are already reporting trouble on the high seas. At least one vessel has already been flagged by Lebanese authorities as having potentially stolen cargo aboard it.
Lebanese trade officials have accused the vessel of transporting stolen grain and barley flour from Ukraine and some sources are already doubting if the country can deliver the purported boatloads of grain the world is waiting for.
Here’s more on the story:
Ukraine has finally begun shipping grain out of its Black Sea ports again after months of blockade, under a safe passage agreement with Russia, and with hope that it will help ease global food shortages https://t.co/2GEgP0OfFs pic.twitter.com/tAeTx4TWWJ
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 1, 2022
The day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, as the first Ukrainian grain leaves Odesa after months of Russian blockade. Ukraine has always been a reliable partner and will remain one should Russia respect its part of the deal.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) August 1, 2022
Reuters provided more details:
The Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni will head to the port of Tripoli, Lebanon, after transiting Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait linking the Black Sea, which is dominated by Russia’s navy, to the Mediterranean. It is carrying 26,527 tonnes of corn.
What is the price of Ukrainian grain this year? pic.twitter.com/x6ut1pcJPM
— Escaped from occupation. Believe and hope. (@MaYa_Ukraine) August 1, 2022
Lebanon has seized a ship loaded with barley and wheat flour while it determines whether the cargo may have been stolen from Ukraine https://t.co/4pqn9qbHyd
— Bloomberg (@business) July 31, 2022
According to BBC News, the grain vessel’s tests and troubles aren’t over yet :
Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov told the BBC the Razoni was an important test to show the deal would work, with Turkey aiding its safe navigation through dangerous waters.
“There’s the question of mines,” he told BBC Newshour. “There are a lot of mines – starting from World War Two, in addition to mines which appeared in the Black Sea starting from February – it provides a lot of risks,” he said.