Ukrainian President Says It’s Too Early To Celebrate Grain Shipment To Lebanon

Asharq Al-Awsat

The first grain ship in five months left the port at Odessa and set sail for the northern Lebanese city Tripoli on Monday, August 1st, which aims to relieve the wheat crisis in Lebanon.

However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says it’s “too early” to celebrate.

“At this time, it is too early to draw conclusions and make any forecasts,” he said in his daily video address. “Let’s wait and see how the agreement works and whether security will be really guaranteed.”

The Sierra Leone-registered ship, the Razoni, is the first to leave the port of Odessa after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th. The ship is sailing under the landmark deal to lift Moscow’s naval blockade in the Black Sea. 

Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest grain exporters, the reason why the five-month halt of Ukrainian grain export has contributed to increasing food prices all over the world, hitting the poorest countries especially hard. 

Kyiv reported that the ship might bring “relief to the world,” but the president urges international partners to keep a close eye on Moscow’s cooperation with the agreement.

“We cannot have the illusions that Russia will simply refrain from trying to disrupt Ukrainian exports,” Zelensky said.

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