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First Grain Ship Leaves Ukrainian Port Since Start of Russian Invasion

The Razoni, carrying 26,000 tons of corn, was able to depart due to a landmark deal between Russia and Ukraine.

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A ship carrying Ukrainian grain left the port of Odesa on Monday, 1 August.

With Lebanon as its destination, the Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni is the first ship to leave since the Russian assault on Ukraine that began on 24 February, according to Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry.

Carrying 26,000 tons of corn, it was able to begin the journey after a landmark deal between Russia and Ukraine, brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.

Moscow has been blockading the ports of Ukraine since the invasion began, causing a grain shortage across the world, with the UN even warning of a looming hunger catastrophe.

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"Today Ukraine, together with partners, takes another step to prevent world hunger," Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Alexander Kubrakov wrote in a Facebook post.

"Unlocking ports will provide at least $1 billion in foreign exchange revenue to the economy and an opportunity for the agricultural sector to plan for next year," he added.

After all, Ukraine is one of the largest producers of grain in the world. About 20 million tonnes of grain are ready be exported at the time of Razoni's departure.

The Russian blockade has led to a global shortage and price rise, which has put some import-reliant countries in Africa and West Asia at risk of famine.

The director of the UN World Food Programme, Patrick Beasley, had warned last month that "a staggering 50 million people in 45 countries are now just one step from famine,” adding, "Nations across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and even Latin America are feeling the heat from this conflict."

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Topics:  Ukraine   Russia Ukraine Crisis 

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