Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian experts inspected, today, Wednesday, near Istanbul, the ship carrying the first shipment of grain exported by Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, in implementation of the agreement signed in July in the Turkish capital aimed at curbing the global food crisis.
The Agence France-Presse that the inspection process Razoni lasted less than an hour and a half. And the Turkish Defense Ministry announced to the press that the shipment “will now cross the Bosphorus Strait to reach Lebanon.”
The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship arrived within sight of Istanbul’s northern shores on the Black Sea on Tuesday after leaving the Ukrainian port of Odessa the day before with 26,000 tons of maize on board, bound for Tripoli in Lebanon.
Twenty experts and delegates from the United Nations arrived in two shuttles.
Wearing orange life jackets and helmets, the experts were led by Turkish Admiral Ozkan Altunbulak, head of the Joint Coordination Center that oversees exports, and retired US Navy Admiral Fred Kenny.
The inspection was carried out in accordance with the wishes of Russia, which wants to ascertain the nature of the shipment.
In his daily speech on Tuesday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Russia’s “terrorist state” for “causing a food crisis in order to use grain, corn and oil as weapons.”
According to KEV, another 16 boats laden with grain are waiting to leave Odessa, the main Ukrainian port on the Black Sea, which before the war was the focus of 60% of the country’s port activity.
The agreement signed on July 22, mediated by Turkey and under the auspices of the United Nations, allows the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments that have been suspended to world markets since the Russian invasion, under international supervision.
The document stipulates, in particular, the creation of safe corridors to allow the circulation of merchant ships in the Black Sea and the export of 20 to 25 million tons of grain.
A similar agreement was signed guaranteeing Russia simultaneously the export of its agricultural products and fertilizers, despite Western sanctions.
Both agreements are expected to help alleviate the global food crisis caused by rising food prices in some of the poorest countries.
On the ground, the Russian military said in a statement that it had destroyed a foreign arms depot in the Lviv region of western Ukraine with “high-precision missiles”.
Last June, Moscow already claimed to have destroyed an arms depot handed over by NATO in western Ukraine, relatively far from the bombing.
In addition, Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city in the east, targeted two strikes overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday from Russian territory, regional authorities announced.
According to preliminary information, these are S-300 missiles launched from the Russian border region of Belgorod, one of which hit the ground and the other a civilian facility without causing any casualties, Governor Oleg Senegubov said on Telegram.
The region’s governor, Vitaly Kim, announced on Telegram, that the southern city of Mykolaiv was bombed again during the night. He added that a supermarket and a pharmacy were destroyed and a riding school was damaged.
According to Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich, “strong explosions” were heard around 5 am on Wednesday.
Pavlo Kirilenko, the governor of the Donetsk region, the epicenter of the fighting, said four civilians had been killed in the past 24 hours.
The Ukrainian Air Force claimed, on Tuesday, that Russian forces launched eight cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea on the territory of Ukraine, one of which “hit an air defense complex in the Lviv region”, in the west. This source stated that the other seven missiles were intercepted.
In Kherson, the first major city to fall to the Russian army, Ukraine, which is currently leading a counterattack in the south, announced on Tuesday that it had captured more than 53 towns there.
Artillery is a critical factor in the conflict in Ukraine. Particularly greedy for projectiles of all kinds, the Ukrainian and Russian armies are fighting a war of attrition at the ammunition level.
The United States, Ukraine’s main backer, on Monday announced a new arms shipment to Kyiv for $550 million, bringing its military aid to more than eight billion.
Separately, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz on Wednesday accused Russia of being responsible for blocking the delivery of turbines currently in Germany, without which the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that supplies gas to Europe could not, according to Moscow.
Westerners accuse Moscow of using the energy weapon in response to the sanctions that were adopted after the attack on Ukraine.
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