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First post-invasion shipment of cereal exports from Ukraine has changed course before reaching Lebanon: Hamieh


First post-invasion shipment of cereal exports from Ukraine has changed course before reaching Lebanon: Hamieh

The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni, carrying Ukrainian grain, is seen in the Black Sea, near Istanbul, Turkey on Aug. 3, 2022. (Credit: Mehmet Emin Caliskan/Reuters)

BEIRUT — Public Works and Transport Minister Ali Hamieh has said in a statement that the Razoni, the vessel carrying the first shipment of cereals exported by Ukraine since the Russian invasion of Feb. 24 and expected to arrive in Lebanon today, had “changed its course before it reached its declared destination,” the state-run National News Agency reported on Sunday.

Here’s what we know:

    • The Razoni left the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa on Monday with Tripoli Lebanon as its destination. Georges Berbari, director-general of the General Directorate of Cereals and Sugarbeets in the Ministry of Economy and Trade, told L’Orient Today on Tuesday that the Razoni was carrying corn and barley to Lebanon to be used as animal feed.

    • In his statement Sunday, Hamieh said the data available indicates the vessel is “awaiting a new order about determining its new destination.”

    • On Saturday, the Ukrainian Embassy in Lebanon told AFP the ship would not dock in Lebanon as planned. “We would like to inform you that the expected arrival of the Razoni ship tomorrow has been postponed,” the Ukrainian Embassy said in a message received by AFP. Asked about the reasons for this postponement, the embassy told AFP that it had “no other information” at the moment.

    • The Razoni, a freighter flying the flag of Sierra Leone, left Odesa carrying 26,000 tons of foodstuffs, after agreements were signed by Ukraine and Russia, following Turkish meditation and under the aegis of the United Nations, to enable exports to resume in an effort to alleviate a global food crisis and the resultant soaring costs of foodstuffs.

    • On Wednesday, Turkish and Russian experts inspected the ship off Istanbul, ahead of its scheduled arrival on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. (07:00 GMT) at the port of Tripoli, in North Lebanon, according to the Ukrainian Embassy in Lebanon, .

    • AFP cites an official source familiar with the matter as saying the ship would probably not dock in Lebanon in the case that it managed to sell its cargo to a merchant in another country. “The ship will only go to Lebanon in one case: if a merchant buys its cargo,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

    • On Friday, three new shipments of corn left Ukraine in a convoy, the Turkish Defense Ministry said. The three shipments will serve Ireland, England and Turkey, according to the same source.


BEIRUT — Public Works and Transport Minister Ali Hamieh has said in a statement that the Razoni, the vessel carrying the first shipment of cereals exported by Ukraine since the Russian invasion of Feb. 24 and expected to arrive in Lebanon today, had “changed its course before it reached its declared destination,” the state-run National News Agency reported on Sunday.Here’s what we...