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Navy: 7 vessels have left Odesa through temporary Black Sea corridor so far

by Martin Fornusek September 26, 2023 6:52 PM 2 min read
The container ship Joseph Schulte set off from Odesa through the temporary Black Sea corridor on Aug. 16, 2023. (Source: Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov/Facebook)
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Seven ships have left Odesa ports through the temporary Black Sea corridor thus far, according to the spokesperson of the Ukrainian Naval Forces, Dmytro Pletenchuk, as reported by Interfax-Ukraine on Sept. 26.

The Navy official clarified that this number includes five vessels that were docked in Odesa ports before the start of the full-scale invasion and two ships that have recently entered and left.

"We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our territorial waters where the vessels were sailing," Pletenchuk said, adding that all of the seven aforementioned ships have already entered the waters of NATO countries.

The spokesman noted that the threats to the transit of vessels through the Black Sea stem mainly from Russian aircraft and missile strikes. According to Pletenchuk, Russia refrains from deploying its warships in the open sea, fearing their destruction by Ukrainian forces.

The Ukrainian Navy announced a temporary Black Sea corridor on Aug. 10, less than a month after Russia terminated the grain deal, which allowed safe passage for ships traveling to and from ports on Ukraine's Black Sea coast.

The new temporary route was set up primarily to allow passage for ships that had been docked in the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdenny since the start of the full-scale invasion.

The container ship Joseph Schulte, sailing under the Hong Kong flag, was the first vessel to leave Odesa ports through the Black Sea corridor on Aug. 16 after being docked there since Feb. 23, 2022.

On Sept. 16, Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced that two bulk carrier civilian ships have agreed to enter the Chornomorsk port near Odesa to ship out Ukrainian grain.

Following the successful trip of these two vessels, three more cargo ships have agreed to sail to Ukraine's ports to transport grain and iron ore to China, Egypt, and Spain, according to Kubrakov.

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