Ukraine 'optimistic' after arrival of first grain shipment
Bulk carrier M/V Razoni, carrying a cargo of 26,000 tonnes of corn, leaves Ukraine’s port of Odessa, en route to Tripoli in Lebanon, on August 1, 2022, amid Russia's military invasion launched on Ukraine. - The first shipment of Ukrainian grain left the port of Odessa on August 1 under the under the Black Sea Grain Initiative deal signed in Istanbul, on 22 July, aimed at relieving a global food crisis following Russia's invasion of its neighbour, the Turkish defence ministry said. (Photo by Oleksandr GIMANOV / AFP)

KYIV, Ukraine (AFP)— The first cargo ship to reach its final destination after departing from Ukraine under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv docked in Turkey Monday, Kyiv said, while a consignment due in Lebanon reported delays.

Ukraine, one of the world's largest grain exporters, was forced to halt almost all deliveries after Russia's invasion, but Black Sea exports recently restarted under a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey.

The Turkish cargo ship -- the Polarnet -- that reached its final destination left the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk last week carrying 12,000 tonnes of corn.

It arrived in Turkey as scheduled after being inspected by the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) established in Istanbul under the international agreement signed last month, Kyiv said.

"This first successful completion of the implementation of the 'grain deal' means it is possible to be optimistic about future transportation," Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov was quoted as saying in a statement by the ministry.

The statement did not give the ship's destination, but the website vesselfinder.com gave its location as the port of Derince, Turkey.

The deal brokered by Turkey and the UN lifted a Russian blockade of Ukraine's ports and set terms for millions of tonnes of wheat and other grain to start flowing from silos and ports.

The Razoni was the first ship to leave Ukraine under the deal.

It left the port of Odessa on August 1 carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn and was expected in Tripoli in Lebanon this weekend but has yet to reach the destination.

The Ukrainian embassy in Lebanon explained on social media that the consignment was delayed after the original buyer refused delivery, citing a five-month delay in shipment.

"The sender is therefore looking for another recipient. This may be in Lebanon or in another country," it added in a statement on Twitter.

Eight ships have left Ukrainian ports since the agreement was signed, Kyiv said Monday, and it hoped that between three and five ships would be able to depart daily within two weeks.

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