By Diyar Guldogan
ANKARA (AA) - A grain-loaded ship that departed from the Ukrainian port of Odesa will be in Istanbul on Tuesday at 12 p.m. GMT, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Monday.
"The ship will be anchored off the coast of Istanbul around 1500 (local time) for a joint inspection," Akar said at Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk in the capital Ankara.
Akar's remarks came after the first grain-loaded ship departed from Ukraine's port of Odesa for Lebanon. Loaded with corn, the Sierra Leone-flagged dry cargo ship Razoni will arrive in Istanbul on Tuesday, and it will continue on its way to Tripoli port following inspections in the Turkish metropolis.
Akar said that the efforts on grain shipments from Ukraine will continue, adding that this matter is a "humanitarian issue."
Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed a deal on July 22 to reopen three Ukrainian ports -- Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny -- for grain that has been stuck for months because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which is now in its sixth month.
To oversee Ukrainian grain exports, a joint coordination center in Istanbul was officially opened on Wednesday, comprising representatives from Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine to enable the safe transportation by merchant ships of commercial foodstuffs and fertilizers from the three key Ukrainian Black Sea ports.