Reuters: Razoni vessel carrying Ukrainian grain approaches Syrian port of Tartus

MOSCOW, 14 Aug – The first vessel with grain to leave Ukraine after reaching a “product deal” in Istanbul, the bulk carrier Razon, is approaching the Syrian port of Tartus, the agency reports. Reuters cites two sources in the shipping industry.

On Friday, the route tracking service MarineTraffic reported that the cargo ship Razon had left the Turkish port of Mersin and was heading toward Egypt.

Two shipping industry sources told Reuters that the first ship to leave Ukraine as part of an UN-brokered deal was approaching the Syrian port of Tartus on Sunday.

The Razoni ship left the port of Odesa on August 1 with 26,000 tons of corn on board as part of an agreement reached in Turkey and was supposed to arrive in Lebanon on the morning of August 7.

However, on August 8, the Ukrainian embassy in Lebanon announced that the Lebanese customer had refused grain shipped from Odesa on a dry cargo ship due to a delay in delivery terms of more than five months. The shipper was reported to be considering alternative buyers, including that outside of Lebanon.

On July 22, in Istanbul, multilateral agreements were signed on lifting restrictions on the supply of Russian products for export and on Russia’s assistance in the export of Ukrainian grain. The deal, which was signed by representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the UN, involves the export of Ukrainian grain, food, and fertilizer across the Black Sea from three ports, including Odesa.

The humanitarian operation was planned with the active participation of Russian officers as part of the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul. On July 22 in Istanbul, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu signed two related documents to address the problems of supplying food and fertilizer to world markets.

Documents are a single package. The first one, the memorandum, assumes the obligation of the UN to remove various restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers to world markets.

The second defines the algorithm for the export of Ukrainian agricultural products from the Black Sea ports controlled by Ukraine. The second document is based on the algorithm proposed by Russia, according to which a maritime humanitarian corridor is created for the safe exit of commercial ships from the Black Sea ports controlled by Ukraine and back.

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