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Hong Kong-flagged container ship Joseph Schulte departs from Odesa, Ukraine

Hong Kong-flagged container ship Joseph Schulte departs from Odesa, Ukraine, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in this handout picture released August 16, 2023. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov via Facebook/Handout via REUTERS

Containership Departs Russian-Blocked Ukrainian Port of Odesa

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August 16, 2023

KYIV, Aug 16 (Reuters) – A container ship left the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa on Wednesday morning, the government said, using what it has described as a new temporary corridor for merchant ships to and from its ports, which are blockaded by Russia.

Ukraine last week announced a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea to release cargo ships that have been trapped in its ports since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. 

Moscow has not indicated whether it would respect the shipping corridor, and shipping and insurance sources have expressed concerns about safety.

“A first vessel used the temporary corridor for merchant ships to/from the ports of Big Odesa,” Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Facebook.

He identified the container ship as the Hong-Kong-flagged JOSEPH SCHULTE and said it had been in the port since Feb. 23, 2022, the day before the invasion.

He said the ship was carrying more than 30,000 metric tons of cargo in 2,114 containers.

“The corridor will be primarily used to evacuate ships that were in the Ukrainian ports (Chornomorsk, Odesa and Pivdennyi) at the time of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation,” the deputy prime minister said.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Philippa Fletcher)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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