There May Finally Be Relief On The Way From This Engineered Food Crisis


On Monday, the first cargo ship carrying Ukrainian grain left a Black Sea port in southern Ukraine under a deal enabling the safe passage of food-carrying vessels.

According to reports, this is the first-ever shipment to have left the troubled nation since February—when Russia blockaded Ukrainian ports as part of her invasion efforts.

The milestone comes after the United Nations and Turkey signed agreements with Russia and Ukraine on July 22 to re-open Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and resume exports of grain, cooking oil, and fertilizer. The U.N. had pushed for a deal to address a growing global food shortage.

The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni left Odesa for Lebanon, Turkey’s defense ministry said. A statement from the United Nations said the Razoni was carrying over 26,000 tons of corn.

Data from the Razoni’s Automatic Identification System, a safety tracker for ships at sea, showed the vessel slowly coming out from its berth at Odesa port Monday morning alongside a tug boat.

However, WLT pointed out some troubles along the way:

It remains to be seen if both sides will honor the deal, but some sources are already reporting trouble on the high seas. At least one vessel has already been flagged by Lebanese authorities as having potentially stolen cargo aboard it.

Lebanese trade officials have accused the vessel of transporting stolen grain and barley flour from Ukraine and some sources are already doubting if the country can deliver the purported boatloads of grain the world is waiting for.

Here’s more on the story:

According to BBC News, the grain vessel’s tests and troubles aren’t over yet :

Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov told the BBC the Razoni was an important test to show the deal would work, with Turkey aiding its safe navigation through dangerous waters.

“There’s the question of mines,” he told BBC Newshour. “There are a lot of mines – starting from World War Two, in addition to mines which appeared in the Black Sea starting from February – it provides a lot of risks,” he said.

Zelensky traveled to Odesa on Friday to oversee the loading of the ship. Under the agreement, three Ukrainian ports in Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny will be allowed to ship agricultural products and fertilizer out of Ukraine.

Ukrainian and Western officials seemed skeptical of the deal after Russia launched an attack on a port in Odesa just hours after the deal was signed.

Sources: WLT, Reuters, BBC News