It is hoped the Lebanon-bound vessel will help ease the global surge in food prices
A ship carrying Ukrainian maize to Lebanon left the port of Odessa on Monday, Russia's Defense Ministry has confirmed. The departure follows last month's landmark deal involving Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN.
The Sierra Leone-flagged vessel is said to be loaded with some 26,000 tons of maize. The ship is the first civilian freighter to carry Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea in months.
Regular shipments were blocked amid hostilities with Russia. Kiev and Moscow blamed each other for the disruption.
A scheme for restarting sea exports was negotiated last month with the help of Ankara and the UN. Turkey is also hosting a special center to coordinate shipping under the deal, which includes representatives from Moscow and Kiev.
Ukraine is a major food producer, so it's hoped the export will start to relieve some of the pressure on the global market, where prices have been surging for months.