STORY: The first grain ship to leave a Ukrainian port since the Russian invasion cleared another hurdle on Wednesday:
Passing through the Bosphorus Strait.
The hope is that the closely-watched ship will be the first of many to help ease a global food crisis.
But Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy played it down while speaking virtually to students in Australia.
He said the shipment is just a drop in the bucket compared to what’s needed.
"Just recently, thanks to the UN in partnership with Turkey, we had a first ship (with the delivery of grain), but it’s still nothing. But we hope it’s a tendency that will continue. In total, the consequences of this war are horrible, not only for Ukraine, but for the whole world. They will be horrible."
The Razoni left Odesa on Monday, heading to Lebanon with nearly 30,000 tons of corn.
By Wednesday, the ship had cleared a key inspection by Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and U.N. personnel.
Its departure comes after Turkey and the U.N. brokered a grain and fertilizer export deal between Moscow and Kyiv last month.
Russia had blockaded the ports after launching what it calls a ‘special military operation’ in February.
The agreement marked a rare diplomatic breakthrough in a drawn-out war of attrition.
Ukraine’s infrastructure minister says 17 more ships are loaded and waiting for the green light to set sail.
As for the Razoni, Ukraine’s ambassador to Lebanon says it is expected to arrive in Tripoli within five days.