UKRAINE WAR – First grain ship to leave Ukraine since war cleared to sail to Lebanon

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The first grain ship to leave a Ukrainian port since Russia invaded at the end of February was cleared to sail to Lebanon Wednesday after being inspected in the Bosphorus strait off Istanbul, the Turkish government said.

A Joint Coordination Center team made up of experts from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations completed the nearly hour-long inspection, clearing the vessel loaded with 27,000 tons of corn to depart for Lebanon, the Turkish defense ministry wrote on Twitter.

The JCC is an Istanbul-based body that was formed as part of an agreement between Moscow and Kyiv signed on July 22 to resume exports of grain stuck in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports which have been blockaded by Russia since the start of its invasion, exacerbating global food shortages.