First grain ship from Ukraine cleared to leave Turkish waters

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The Razoni, carrying more than 26,000 tons of corn, was checked by 20 Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN officials before continuing on to Tripoli in Lebanon.

Under a deal signed with the Kremlin to let safe exports of grain resume, the vessel was searched for prohibited goods – essentially arms – before sailing south from the Black Sea through the Bosphorus strait.

Inspectors will ensure ships heading to Ukraine do not transport weapons and outgoing ones bear only grain or related items.

The Razoni left Odesa on Monday and it is hoped the Sierra Leone-flagged carrier will be the first of many, to help ease a world shortage of grain.

Vladimir Putin’s navy has blockaded Ukraine’s ports since February, sending the prices of bread, pasta, cooking oils and fertiliser soaring.

Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat exports.

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