1st grain ship leaving Ukraine resumes journey after inspection off Istanbul's coast

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ISTANBUL, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- A team of representatives from the recently established Joint Coordination Center (JCC) wrapped up their inspection of a ship carrying Ukrainian grain off Istanbul's coast on Wednesday.

Two boats carrying the inspectors, accompanied by two escort vessels from the Turkish Coast Guard, approached the ship anchored on the northwestern entrance of the Bosphorus Strait.

Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Türkiye, and the United Nations under the umbrella of JCC boarded the ship around 10:30 a.m. local time (0730 GMT) to conduct examinations to ensure the ship transported no cargo unaccounted for.

The Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni, which left the Odesa port in Ukraine early on Monday with 26,527 tons of corn for Lebanon, reached the entrance of the Bosphorus Strait on Tuesday evening. It is the first successful large-volume grain shipment in almost half a year from Ukraine to international markets via the Black Sea.

The inspection took around one and a half hours, and Türkiye's Defence Ministry announced that Razoni would start its passage from the Bosphorus Strait in the afternoon.

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

According to the state-run Anadolu agency, 20 million tonnes of grain are still in Ukraine, waiting to be shipped. Enditem

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