A second civilian vessel has sailed from Odesa through the temporary Black Sea corridor, set up primarily to evacuate vessels docked in Ukrainian ports since the start of the full-scale invasion, according to MarineTraffic data.
The Primus, a bulk carrier sailing under a Liberian flag, left Odesa on the morning of Aug. 26, where it has been docked since before the full-scale invasion, said Andrii Klymenko, a project lead at the Institute of the Black Sea Strategic Studies, a think-tank.
The vessel is heading to Varna in Bulgaria, according to the MarineTraffic.
Prius followed the container ship Joseph Schulte, a Hong Kong-registered ship which left the port on Aug. 16.
On Aug. 10, Ukraine’s navy announced a new temporary corridor to allow passage for ships that have been docked in the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Pivdenny since the start of the full-scale invasion.
The navy nevertheless warned that the military threat posed by Russian forces toward merchant vessels persists.
Ukraine proposed this route to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which has appealed to Russia to cease all threats and adhere to international conventions.
The last merchant ship left Odesa’s port on July 16 as Russia unilaterally terminated the Black Sea Grain Initiative the day later. The deal, brokered in July 2022 by Turkey and the U.N., allowed Ukraine to export its grain even amid the ongoing full-scale invasion.
Alexander Khrebet is a reporter with the Kyiv Independent. He covers Ukraine’s foreign policy, alleged abuse of power in the country’s military leadership, and reports on the Russian-occupied territories. Alexander is the European Press Prize 2023 winner, the #AllForJan Award 2023 winner and Ukraine’s 2022 National Investigative Journalism Award finalist. His was published in the Washington Times and Atlantic Council.