UN SG welcomes departure of first ship to Lebanon

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday hailed the departure of the first ship carrying grain from Odessa to Lebanon, expressing hope that it would be the first in a long series since the conclusion of an agreement between Russia and Ukraine.

“This first departure is a collective achievement of the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) created in Istanbul under the auspices of the United Nations and composed of representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Turkey”said Antonio Guterres, quoted in a press release from his spokesperson.

He said that since then the parties, with the help of the UN, have worked tirelessly to implement the provisions of the agreement on the resumption of Ukrainian exports under international supervision, signed on July 22.

According to the UN, the Joint Center enables safe transport by merchant ships of commercial foodstuffs and fertilizers from three key Ukrainian Black Sea ports: Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny.

The UN chief further indicated that thanks to the “tireless efforts”, the general supervision and coordination of the CCC, the ship left the port of Odessa safely.

According to Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandre Kubrakov, the boat heading for Tripoli in Lebanon is loaded with more than 26,000 tons of corn.

It should arrive at the entrance to the Bosphorus on Tuesday at midday, said Yörük Isik, a specialist in monitoring ship movements on the Bosphorus and in the region.

The UN SG also noted that in accordance with the humanitarian spirit of the initiative, the World Food Program (WFP) plans to purchase, load and ship an initial 30,000 metric tons of wheat out of Ukraine on a UN-chartered ship, adding that the WFP will provide more details on this in the coming days.

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