(Update 1: Adds completion of inspection)
Rumeli Feneri, Turkey, Aug 3 (EFE).- The first grain ship to leave a Ukrainian port since Russia invaded at the end of February was cleared to sail to Lebanon Wednesday after being inspected in the Bosphorus strait off Istanbul, the Turkish government said.
A Joint Coordination Center team made up of experts from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations completed the nearly hour-long inspection, clearing the vessel loaded with 27,000 tons of corn to depart for Lebanon, the Turkish defense ministry wrote on Twitter.
The JCC is an Istanbul-based body that was formed as part of an agreement between Moscow and Kyiv signed on July 22 to resume exports of grain stuck in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports which have been blockaded by Russia since the start of its invasion, exacerbating global food shortages.
The Razoni cargo ship, sailing under the Sierra Leonean flag, left the Ukrainian port of Odesa on Monday.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian infrastructure minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said that there will be more shipments from Odesa over the next two weeks.
“During the next two weeks, we will have one, two or three ships in each direction and I hope that after two weeks when everything is checked, we will have normal navigation along the corridor,” Kubrakov said. EFE