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Ukraine opens temporary corridors for merchant ships sailing to, from its ports

The last ship carrying food left a Ukrainian port on 16 July, the day before Russia unilaterally decided to withdraw from the grain deal.

Ukraine opens temporary corridors for merchant ships sailing to, from its ports
Photo: EPA/UPG

Ukraine has opened temporary corridors for merchant ships sailing to and from its ports in accordance with the Ukrainian Navy's order of 8 August.

The Navy warned that the military and mine threat from the Russian Federation remains along all routes. Only vessels whose owners or masters officially confirm their readiness to sail in the current conditions will be allowed to use the routes.

Ukraine previously proposed these routes in an appeal to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

"The Council of the International Maritime Organisation has recognised Ukraine's right to free trade navigation, which is guaranteed by international maritime law," the Navy said.

The International Maritime Organisation has called on Russia to comply with international conventions and stop threatening trade navigation in the Black Sea.

"These routes will primarily be used to allow civilian vessels that have been in the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa and Pivdennyy since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion on 24 February 2022 to leave," the military said.

The last ship with Ukrainian food left the port of Odesa on 16 July. On 17 July, Russia unilaterally announced its withdrawal from the grain deal it signed with Turkey and the UN in July 2022. Immediately after the withdrawal, the Russians began attacking the port grain infrastructure in order to cut off Ukrainian food access to world markets.

From 18 July to early August, Russia destroyed about 200,000 tonnes of grain.

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