Container ship Joseph Schulte, the first vessel that used Ukraine’s Black Sea corridor is crossing through Turkey’s Bosporus Straits, is heading to the pot of Piraeus, state broadcaster ERT reported on Saturday.
The Joseph Schulte, carrying 2,114 containers with 30,000 tons of cargo, ERT added.
Yesterday it arrived early in the morning, at 6.10, at the anchorage of the port of Istanbul and, after refueling, it departed at noon setting sail for Greece’s biggest port.
It is the first ship to cross the Black Sea since the expiry of the Istanbul Grain Agreement on July 17 and Russian warnings that all ships will be treated as hostile.
The Hong-Kong-flagged Joseph Schulte container ship that left the Russian-blocked Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa earlier this week had been in the port since Feb. 23, 2022, the day before the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine last week announced a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea to release cargo ships that have been trapped in its ports after the termination of the main grain exports deal last month.
The Joseph Schulte was stranded for 1.5 years in the port of Odesa, as its cargo was not bulk grain or grain products and was therefore not covered by the Ukrainian grain agreement. However, Turkish media commented on Friday that the course that followed could be an alternative corridor for Ukrainian grain.
The Joseph Schulte is Hong Kong-flagged and a Chinese company is among the shipowners, which Turkish press say has deterred Russia from taking more drastic measures, Reuters reported..