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President Volodymyr Zelensky reported on Sept. 2 that two more ships successfully passed through the temporary Black Sea corridor established after Russia's withdrawal from the grain deal in mid-July.
"Ukraine restores true freedom of navigation to the Black Sea. Freedom requires decisiveness. I thank all of our port workers and everyone who ensures the safe functioning of the corridor," Zelensky said.
"We urge our allies to support our effort by providing more air defense systems. Together, we can protect freedom of navigation in the Black Sea and beyond."
Brokered by Turkey and the U.N. in July 2022, the grain deal was originally meant to guarantee the safe passage of ships transporting Ukraine's agricultural exports from the Black Sea.
Russia withdrew from the grain deal in mid-July after repeated threats to do so and has since been targeting Ukraine's agricultural infrastructure, ports, and grain stockpiles.
Ukraine's Naval Forces announced the new temporary corridor on Aug. 10. The route is primarily meant to allow passage for ships that have been docked in the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdennyi since the start of the full-scale invasion.
Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov reported on Aug. 16 that the first ship had successfully sailed from Odesa through the temporary Black Sea corridor.
However, the navy said that the military threat from Russia and mine risks remain along all the routes, adding that only vessels whose owners or captains officially confirm their readiness to sail under such conditions will be allowed to pass through.