First ship sails from Odesa after Russia pulls from ‘grain deal’
Photo: Marine Traffic

The container ship Joseph Schulte on Wednesday left the port of Odesa, where it had been stationed since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, via a new route opened after Moscow pulled out of the Black Sea grain initiative.

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The Ukrainian Navy last week announced new temporary routes for civilian vessels to and from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, including Odesa, as Russia continues its blockade after withdrawing from the grain deal.

The route is primarily intended to evacuate civilian vessels stuck in the Ukrainian Black Sea ports due to hostilities.

The temporary route from Odesa passes through Ukraine's sovereign waters and leads to Romania’s territorial waters and exclusive maritime economic zone.

"The container ship, which has been in the port of Odesa since 23 February 2022, has gone beyond the Vorontsov lighthouse and is heading for the Bosporus," deputy prime minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov posted on social media.

The vessel is carrying more than 2,000 containers with 30,000 tonnes of cargo, including food.

In July, the Ukrainian government adopted a resolution on the establishment of an additional mechanism to guarantee compensation for damage that Russia may cause to ship charterers, operators, or owners.

Following its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Russia began attacking Ukrainian ports both in the Odesa region and on the Danube River.

The last ship carrying Ukrainian food left the port of Odesa on 16 July.