Media reports say a ship carrying grain left the Ukrainian port of Odesa for Lebanon under a safe passage agreement on August 1.

It is the first departure since the Russian Federation launched its so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, blocking shipping through the Black Sea.

The sailing was reportedly made possible after Turkey and the United Nations brokered a grain-and-fertilizer export agreement between Russia and Ukraine last month.

The Turkish defense minister said earlier that the Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni, which is loaded with corn, will head to Lebanon. More ships will follow, it said.

Russia and Ukraine reportedly account for nearly a third of global wheat exports.  But Western sanctions on Russia and fighting along Ukraine's eastern seaboard have prevented grain ships safely leaving ports.

Ukrainian presidential officials have said 17 ships were docked in Ukraine's Black Sea ports with almost 600,000 tons of cargo. Of them, 16 vessels held Ukrainian grain with a total tonnage of about 580,000 tons.

Moscow has denied responsibility for the food crisis, blaming Western sanctions for slowing exports and Ukraine for mining the approaches to its ports.

CBS News says Russia and Ukraine signed separate agreements with Turkey and the U.N. clearing the way for Ukraine - one of the world's key breadbaskets - to export 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural goods that have been stuck in Black Sea ports because of Russia's invasion.

The deals also allow Russia to exports grain and fertilizers.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement he "warmly welcomes" the ship's departure.