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Two more merchant ships leave Ukrainian port through navy corridor

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 1, 2023 4:10 PM 1 min read
An image of the Ocean Courtesy, a bulk carrier that sails under the flag of the Marshall Islands, published on Sep. 1. (Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine / Facebook)
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Two ships have left the Pivdennyi Port in Odesa Oblast through a corridor organized by the Ukrainian Navy, the Infrastructure Ministry announced on Sep. 1.

The bulk carriers, which have 56,000 tons of pig iron and 172,000 tons of iron ore on board, are operated by a Singapore-based company, the Infrastructure Ministry said.

On Aug. 10, Ukraine's navy announced a new temporary corridor to allow passage for ships that have been docked in Ukrainian Black Sea ports since the start of the full-scale invasion.

The navy nevertheless warned that the military threat posed by Russian forces toward merchant vessels persists.

Ukraine proposed this route to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which has appealed to Russia to cease all threats and adhere to international conventions.

The last merchant ship left Odesa's port on July 16 as Russia unilaterally terminated the Black Sea Grain Initiative the day later. The deal, brokered in July 2022 by Turkey and the U.N., allowed Ukraine to export its grain even amid the ongoing full-scale invasion.

The Ocean Courtesy is now en route to Constanta in Romania, and the Anna-Theresa is sailing to Varna in Bulgaria, according to maritime analytics website MarineTraffic.

On Aug. 16, the container ship Joseph Schulte was the first to travel through the temporary corridor, followed by the bulk carrier Primus on Aug. 26.

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