ISTANBUL: As part of a historic arrangement aimed at easing a global food crisis brought on by the conflict, the first grain delivery from Ukraine since the Kremlin’s invasion five months ago sailed through Istanbul on Wednesday
The journey of the Razoni, a ship flying the flag of Sierra Leone, from the Black Sea port of Odessa to Lebanon is being extensively scrutinised for indications of the viability of the first accord agreed by Moscow and Kyiv since Russia attacked its pro-Western neighbour.
A pact reached by Turkey and the UN last month eased a Russian naval blockade of Ukrainian cities along the Black Sea and established conditions for the transit of millions of tonnes of wheat and other grains from ports and filling silos.
Ukraine is one of the major grain suppliers to the world and exports around half of the sunflower oil consumed there. A nearly full halt to its exports contributed to an increase in food prices worldwide and made imports unaffordable in some of the world’s poorest nations.