Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

Officials from the Joint Coordination Center are seen aboard the Razoni on Aug. 3 during an agreed inspection in the Black Sea off Istanbul, Turkey.
Officials from the Joint Coordination Center are seen aboard the Razoni on Aug. 3 during an agreed inspection in the Black Sea off Istanbul, Turkey (Turkish Ministry of Defense/Reuters)

Ukrainian and Turkish officials say the first shipment of grain to leave Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odessa since Russia began its invasion was passed through the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) inspection in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that an inspection of the M/V Razoni will be conducted by a delegation made up of representatives from Turkey, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United Nations.

“The ship RAZONI has passed the Joint Coordination Center inspection and is ready to go to its destination,” Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Facebook.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said in a tweet that the inspection of the shipment has been completed and the ship will sail next to Lebanon.

The three-hour inspection involved assessing the ship’s crew and cargo and recording “valuable information about the ship’s voyage” along the Black Sea corridor approved by the JCC, according to a statement from the JCC. Centre.

“The JCC will use this trip in its ongoing work to refine procedures and processes to enable the safe passage of commercial vessels across the Black Sea under the initiative,” the statement said.

Three ports in Ukraine are planned to renew the export of millions of tons of wheat, corn and other crops, the statement said.

The M/V Razoni left the port of Odessa on Monday with more than 26,000 tons of corn on board. After delay due to bad weather, it arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday evening. The ship then sails to the port of Tripoli in Lebanon.

The inspection team will board the ship, carrying more than 26,000 tons of corn, on Wednesday in the Black Sea.
The inspection team will board the ship, carrying more than 26,000 tons of corn, on Wednesday in the Black Sea. (Ali Atmaca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

“This is the first ship to pass along the ‘grain corridor’ agreed with the UN and Turkey. Thanks to Ukraine’s armed forces and port services, RAZONI made its way safely to the Bosphorus, where it was inspected by representatives of the JCC,” Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov posted on Facebook.

“Using RAZONI as an example, all necessary control and coordination measures between Ukraine and the signatory partners – the UN and Turkey – are being finalized and elaborated,” said Kubrakov.

He added that 17 ships have been loaded and are awaiting permission to leave Ukraine and that applications are being accepted for the entry of new ships into Ukrainian ports for loading agricultural products.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the departure of the first grain ship from the Black Sea “important” but noted that it is “only a first step and continuing implementation of the UN-facilitated deal of July 21 is essential to food security around the world.”

“Russia must fulfill its obligations, including by facilitating unhindered exports of agricultural products from the ports of the Black Sea,” Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Russia must also end its attacks that render agricultural land in Ukraine unusable and destroy agricultural infrastructure,” he continued. “As long as Russia continues its aggression, the Ukrainian people and the most vulnerable in the world will continue to suffer the consequences.”

Jennifer Hansler of CNN contributed to this post.

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