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After a successful evacuation of a vessel along a new corridor on the western Black Sea coast, Ukraine is hoping to use the corridor to export grain, Denys Marchuk, deputy head of the Agrarian Council, said on national television, Reuters reported on Aug. 21.
"Only one commercial vessel has passed through so far, (and this) has shown readiness to move by alternative routes," Marchuk said.
Ukraine's Naval Forces announced on Aug. 10 new temporary routes for civilian vessels moving to or from Black Sea ports after Russia unilaterally pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and effectively declared a blockade in the sea.
The corridor was initially planned to enable the exit of civilian ships stuck in the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdenny since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion.
The container ship Joseph Schulte sailing under the Hong Kong flag left Odesa's port on Aug. 16, where it had been docked since Feb. 23, 2022, being the first to travel through the temporary corridor.
"Further, there should be a movement of potentially seven-eight more ships... then perhaps in the future these alternative routes will become a corridor for the movement of ships that are traveling with cargoes of grain and oilseeds," Marchuk said.
While Ukraine is looking to attract ship owners to Ukrainian ports with a ship insurance scheme to protect against potential losses as a result of Russian attacks, Mykola Gorbachov, head of Ukrainian grain traders union UGA, said he doubted that ship owners were prepared to send their ships through the corridors, Reuters reported.