Boxship completes landmark voyage out of Ukraine paving way for other vessels to exit 

The 9,400 teu Jospeh Schulte dropped anchor off Istanbul this morning, completing a hugely significant voyage, becoming the first of some 60 ships that have been stranded at Ukrainian waters since war broke out with Russia 541 days ago. Other marooned vessels are now readying voyage plans to make use of Ukraine’s newly created humanitarian corridor to exit the war-torn country. 

The Joseph Schulte is also the first to transit south from a Ukrainian seaport since Russia quit a United Nations-brokered grain shipping pact last month and then started targeting its enemy’s ports and grain export infrastructure. 

Russia’s recent robust attitude across the Black Sea – often in international waters – has earned it a rebuke however. 

Turkey has warned Russia to “avoid further escalations” after a Turkish-owned cargo vessel was attacked by the Russian navy last weekend, an act that Ukrainian authorities described as a “clear violation of international law of the sea, an act of piracy and a crime against civilian vessels of a third country in the waters of other states.” Subsequent videos have emerged of military forces landing on the ship with guns aimed at the crew. 

Meanwhile, in the ongoing battle around the shoreline of the Black Sea, a fire erupted today at Novorossiysk port, Russia’s top port in the region. Russian media blamed wooden pallets catching fire for the blaze at the container yard. 

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