Hopes for first grain ship to leave Ukraine after Russia deal

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The first grain ship from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion could leave port as early as Friday, but “crucial details” are still being ironed out, says UN aid chief Martin Griffiths.

A UN-led deal was signed a week ago to resume exports after a blockage which led to food price rises.

With hopes of an imminent departure, President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Odesa saying Ukraine was ready.

READ ALSO:  We are not a colony, says Zelensky, marking new national holiday

A source told Russian media it could happen, barring unforeseen events.

The focus on Friday was on the port of Chornomorsk, where a ship loaded with grain was being readied to leave. However, the UN aid chief said that could only happen safely when the route through the Black Sea was finalised.

Under the agreement signed by Russia and Ukraine, the sea corridor, convoy and inspection of the cargo are all being organised by a joint co-ordination centre (JCC) in Turkey and final preparations were reportedly still not in place.

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