Yesterday, the first Ukrainian cargo ship carrying grain exports since Russia invaded in late February cleared inspection in Turkey and will continue to move towards its destination of Lebanon. Moreover, a joint officials civilian inspection team from the United Nations, Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey spent around three hours aboard the commercial vessel Razoni.
Turkish and Ukrainian authorities said that the first cargo ship containing grain export to depart Ukraine under a wartime agreement entered the Bosporus Strait on the way to Lebanon after it was checked and got clearance Wednesday in Turkey.#cargoship #grainexport #lebanon pic.twitter.com/wM1DoO8YY6
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The Turkish Ministry of National Defense tweeted pictures that showed an inspector reaching into the open hold of Razoni while checking the grain by touching it. The horn of the Razoni rang out as the inspectors left the ship. However, the ministry has not explained the detailed mechanisms. Furthermore, the team is a part of the JCC (the Joint Coordination Center) that will manage the implementation of the grain pact.
According to JCC, the inspection team confirmed that all grain was in order with the cargo and crew. The center added that it marked the end of a preliminary proof of concept operation for executing the deal. Moreover, the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure stated that seventeen more ships were loaded and awaiting approval to depart from the southern ports of Yuzhny, Chornomorsk, and Odesa.
The ship Razoni carries over twenty-six thousand tons of corn bound for Tripoli. However, a projected twenty million tons of grain are stuck in Ukraine because of the Russia-Ukraine war. On Wednesday, Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, told Australian students in a video talk that the first cargo shipment was still nothing. However, he showed hope that they would continue.
Russia Must End its Attacks
Antony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, welcomed the development but warned that it was only an initial step and encouraged Moscow to obey the pact. Further, he stated that Russia must meet its commitments, such as facilitating unrestricted exports of agricultural products from Black Sea ports. Blinken also said that Moscow must end its invasions of Ukraine, rendering Ukrainian farmland unproductive and destroying its agricultural infrastructure.
Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, told reporters in New York that the organization was finding ways to overcome the world energy crisis amid the Russia-Ukraine war. Furthermore, he said that when those talks began to gain traction, fertilizer and wheat prices started to plunge. Guterres also said that they are now at approximately pre-attack levels.
The United Nations chief slammed the ridiculous greed of oil & gas firms whose profits have been shattering due to the energy crisis. Additionally, he said that it is immoral for world oil and gas firms to be making record profits from the current energy crisis on the back of the poorest individuals and communities.
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