Two more vessels leave Black Sea port amid Russian blockade

Another two vessels that were stuck in the port of Pivdennyi, in southern Ukraine, were able to leave through a temporary route, the Ukrainian ministry of communities, territories and infrastructure said in a statement on Friday.

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The Ukrainian Navy last month 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 bulk carriers Anna-Theresa and Ocean Courtesy, sailing under the banners of Liberia and Marshall Islands, respectively, left Pivdennyi port and are moving through the route towards the Bosphorus.

The vessels are carrying 56,000 tonnes of pig iron and 172,000 tonnes of iron ore concentrate.

Both bulk carriers entered the port of Pivdennyi before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February and were stuck there ever since.

In total, four vessels have used the temporary route established by Ukraine for vessels to leave the Black Sea ports.

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.