The ship’s departure was announced by Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
"The first grain ship since Russian aggression has left port," Kubrakov said in a tweet.
"Thanks to the support of all our partner countries and the UN we were able to fully implement the agreement signed in Istanbul," he added.
The Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni, loaded with over 26,000 tonnes of corn, is bound for Lebanon, the Reuters news agency reported, citing Turkey’s defence ministry.
Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry said that 16 more vessels “are waiting their turn to leave the port,” as quoted by the politico.eu website.
Safe passage agreement
The grain-and-fertiliser export deal was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey on July 22. It paves the way for the resumption of Ukraine’s exports for the first time since the Russian invasion blocked shipping through the Black Sea in February.
Under the agreement, Moscow committed not to attack ships exporting grain from t Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi.
However, merely a day after the deal was signed, Russia hit Odesa with missiles and struck port infrastructure, news outlets reported.
Food and energy crisis
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a global food and energy crisis, with the UN warning of the risk of “multiple famines this year.”
Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s top grain suppliers, accounting for nearly a third of global wheat exports, according to experts.
However, Western sanctions on Russia and fighting along Ukraine's eastern seafront have prevented grain ships from safely leaving ports, Reuters reported.
Moscow has denied responsibility for the food crisis. It claims Western sanctions have slowed down exports and also blames Ukraine for mining the approaches to its ports, news outlets reported.
Monday is day 159 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, Reuters, ukrinform.net, politico.eu