Container ship which set sail from Ukraine’s Odesa port reaches Istanbul Strait

Container ship which set sail from Ukraine’s Odesa port reaches Istanbul Strait

It is 1st vessel that departed from Odesa port after Russia’s withdrawal from Black Sea Grain Initiative

By Muhammed Gencebay Gur

ISTANBUL (AA) - A container ship, named Joseph Schulte, which set sail from Ukraine's Odesa port earlier this week, has reached the Istanbul Strait.

It is the first vessel that departed from Odesa port after Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative last month.

The Hong Kong-flagged vessel entered the Istanbul Strait through the Black Sea at 06.10 a.m. local time (0310GMT).

The container-laden vessel will anchor at Istanbul's Ambarli port.

On Thursday, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the first vessel left Odesa port on Wednesday after the suspension of the Black Sea grain initiative in mid-July.

"Container ship JOSEPH SCHULTE (Hong Kong flag) is proceeding through corridor established for civilian vessels to/from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine. This transport corridor will be primarily used to evacuate ships that were in ports at the time of the full-scale invasion of the Russia," Kubrakov said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

On July 17, Russia suspended its participation in the Black Sea grain deal, which it signed last July along with Türkiye, the UN, and Ukraine to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February. But even when renewing the deal in previous months, Moscow has complained that the Russian part of the agreement was not being implemented.

Ankara has been carrying out intense efforts and pushing diplomacy for the resumption of the Black Sea grain deal. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to Türkiye in August to discuss the deal.

Türkiye, internationally praised for its unique mediator role between Ukraine and Russia, has repeatedly called on Kyiv and Moscow to end the war, now over 500 days old, through negotiations.

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