Has the new grain corridor worked? The first vessel from Odesa approached Turkey

Volodymyr PaziyLife
First vessel to leave Odesa port since 16 July
First vessel to leave Odesa port since 16 July

The first vessel to use the temporary corridor for merchant ships to the ports of Greater Odesa has approached Turkey. The Hong Kong-flagged container ship Joseph Schulte left Odesa on 16 August and is due to arrive in Istanbul on 17 August. This is the first grain voyage since 16 July, the date when Russia blocked the grain deal.

This is evidenced by data from the ship tracking service Marine Traffic. According to RFI, the ship was travelling along the western route and mostly avoided international waters. Instead, the vessel stayed in waters controlled by NATO members Romania and Bulgaria.

Joseph Schulte on the map as of 18:30 on August 17 .

A German company that co-owns the container ship said the vessel is likely to reach its destination in Istanbul later than 17 August. It is noted that the Joseph Schulte is in fact using a new humanitarian corridor that Ukraine and partners restricted when Russia blocked the grain deal.

On 16 August, the container ship, which had been in the port of Odesa since 23 February 2022, left the Vorontsov lighthouse and headed for the Bosphorus. It is carrying more than 30,000 tonnes of cargo (2,114 containers), including food. Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov wrote about this on his Facebook page.

"The corridor will primarily be used to evacuate vessels that were in the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa and Pivdennyi at the time of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation. According to the Navigational Order No. 6 of the Ukrainian Navy, temporary routes for civilian vessels to and from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine have been in effect since August 2023," the Minister said.

He added that Ukraine proposed this route in its appeal to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The IMO Council recognises Ukraine's international right to free trade navigation and calls on the terrorist country of Russia to stop any threats and comply with international conventions.

As a reminder, the last time the vessel left the port of Odesa on 16 July as part of a grain deal. After the agreement was disrupted, Russia resorted to systematic air attacks on port infrastructure to stop Ukrainian agricultural exports. At the same time, there are information speculations and attempts at provocations in the Black Sea to influence the movement of ships to Ukrainian ports.

As reported by OBOZREVATEL, Turkey is ready to guarantee unimpeded passage through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits for dry cargo ships carrying grain from Ukraine. So far, the ships have not passed through the straits, but they will continue to do so.

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