Vessel Sails From Ukraine’s Odesa Port With 30,000 Tonnes Of Cargo Despite Russian Threats

A second container vessel sailed on Saturday via a temporary Black Sea corridor established by the Ukrainian government after Russia stopped a wartime deal to enable safe grain exports from Ukraine’s ports.

A Liberian-flagged bulk carrier, The Primus, departed from the port of Odesa on Saturday morning and steamed south toward Varna, per data gathered from marine traffic tracking sites. Oleksii Honcharenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker, posted a photo of the ship setting sail from the port on his Telegram channel.

Odesa Port
Representation Image

The Primus’ departure came approximately ten days after the launch of yet another container vessel that had been docked in Odesa since before Russia’s full-blown invasion, the Hong Kong-flagged vessel dubbed Joseph Schulte. Analysts surmised that the political closeness of China to Russia may have eased that vessel’s passage and raised doubts if vessels registered elsewhere would also follow.

The interim corridor that Kyiv has asked the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to ratify was introduced on 10 August as Ukrainian and U.S. officials warned of probable Russian attacks on civilian vessels sailing in the Black Sea. Sea mines make the voyage riskier, and ship insurance costs will likely be significantly high for the operators.

On 17 July, Russia withdrew from the U.N.-brokered grain deal, with the Kremlin officials arguing that their existing demands for facilitating Russian food and fertilizer shipments had not been satisfied. The decision came after hours of a predawn attack on a bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula and Russia, which took the lives of two individuals and dealt an embarrassing yet big blow to the Kremlin.

Even though Russia’s officials insisted that there was no connection between the span and the sudden decision to pull away from the agreement, they described it as a missile and drone attack on Odesa the very next day after Moscow reportedly broke off the safe shipping deal as retribution for the impaired bridge.

References: Yahoo! Finance, Eurasian Times, MercoPress

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