Coordination center to track 1st grain ship from Ukraine till arrival: official

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ISTANBUL, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul will closely monitor the first commercial vessel that left the Ukrainian port of Odesa for Lebanon on Monday until it arrives at the destination, a JCC coordinator said on Tuesday.

"The route and the humanitarian corridor that the ship follows, possible needs, and the details and preparations regarding its inspection are carried out in line with the procedures and principles agreed at the center," Turkish Rear Admiral Ozcan Altunbulak said in a press briefing at the center.

The Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship, Razoni, sailed for Tripoli in Lebanon on Monday morning from Odesa.

Carrying 26,527 tonnes of corn, Razoni will pass through the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul to sail to the Mediterranean.

Razoni is expected to arrive at the entrance of the Bosphorus Strait on the Black Sea around midnight on Tuesday and anchor at the assigned anchorage, according to Altunbulak.

"After the necessary procedures, an inspection will be carried out on the ship Razoni by a delegation consisting of representatives from Türkiye, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Nations, and then it will continue on its way according to the results of the examination," he noted.

Türkiye's Defence Ministry said the team will board the ship for inspection at 8 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) on Wednesday.

Altunbulak also said currently, the preparations of the other ships that will carry grain and other foodstuffs from the three ports of Ukraine are continuing.

"We have undertaken a historical and humanitarian mission, and we will continue our duty and harmonious work at the center as we have done so far," he added.

Last week, the JCC was inaugurated in Istanbul with a total of 20 representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations, and Türkiye to monitor the implementation of the grain shipment process.

On July 22, Russia and Ukraine signed a deal with Türkiye and the United Nations to allow food and fertilizer exports from the Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, namely Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi. Enditem

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