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Two civilian ships leave Ukrainian port despite Russia’s Black Sea blockade

grain deal
A bulk carrier leaves a Ukrainian Black Sea port on 1 September 2023. Credit: The Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine.
Two civilian ships leave Ukrainian port despite Russia’s Black Sea blockade

Two vessels blocked in the Ukrainian Black Sea ports due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine have left the Pivdennyi port in the Odesa Oblast and are sailing through a temporary corridor towards the Bosphorus Strait in the Republic of Türkiye, the Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine reported.

The bulk carriers Anna-Theresa (sailing under the flag of Liberia) and Ocean Courtesy (sailing under the flag of Marshall Islands) left Pivdennyi port with 56,000 tons of pig iron and 172,000 tons of iron ore concentrate on board.

Both vessels were in Pivdennyi port before the full-scale Russian invasion started. The Anna-Theresa bulk carrier has been blocked in the Ukrainian port since 22 February 2022, and the Ocean Courtesy arrived in Ukraine on 16 February 2022.

The temporary corridor began operating on 8 August 2023. It will be primarily used to evacuate vessels blocked in the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdennyi at the time of the full-scale Russian invasion. Four civilian ships have already used the temporary evacuation corridor since 15 August.

In July 2023, Russia suspended the Black Sea grain agreement, signed in the summer of 2022, to unblock the export of Ukrainian grain. Wheat prices started rising following the suspension of the grain deal. In particular, Benchmark Chicago wheat futures rose as much as 4.2% after Russia announced it would not extend the Black Sea grain deal and refused to provide security guarantees for civilian vessels traveling to and from Ukrainian ports.

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