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First Ukraine Garin Ship Since Start Of War Leaves Odesa

BUCHAREST, Romania - A ship carrying grain left the Ukrainian port of Odesa for foreign markets on Monday under a safe passage agreement, a Ukrainian minister said, the first departure since the Russian invasion blocked shipping through the Black Sea five months ago.

The sailing was made possible after Turkey and the United Nations brokered a grain - and - fertiliser export agreement between Russia and Ukraine last month.

'The first grain ship since #RussianAggression has left port. Thanks to the support of all out partners countries & @UN we were able to full implement the Agreement signed in Istanbul', Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Twitter.

The Turkish defence minister said earlier that the Sierra Leone - flagged ship Razoni, which is loaded with corn, will head to Lebanon. More ships will follow, it said.

The Russian invasion on Feb.24 has led to a worldwide food and energy crisis and the United Nations has warned of the risk multiple famines this year.

Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat exports. But Western sanctions on Russia and fighting along Ukraine's eastern seaboard have prevented grain ships safely leaving ports.

The deal aims to allow safe passage for grain shipments in and out of Chornomorsk, Odesa and the port of Pivdennyi.

Ukrainian presidential officials have said 17 ships were docked in the Ukraine's Black Sea ports with almost 600,000 tonnes of cargo. Of them, 16 vessels held Ukrainian grain with a total tonnage of about 580,000 toness.

Moscow had denied responsibility for the food crisis, blaming Western sanctions for slowing exports and Ukraine for mining the approaches to its ports.



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