The Turkish owned and Malta operated cargo vessel, Azov Concord has just departed Mariupol bound for Novorossiysk, Russia. The ship is reportedly empty. This departure represents the first foreign vessel to depart the devastated port city since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, 2022. The vessel arrived in Mariupol on February 22nd and has been stuck there since. There are six other foreign operated ships in Mariupol, however the crews have long departed and it is not clear when or if they will be given safe passage.
The Turkish, Russian, and Ukrainian governments have reached a deal for a humanitarian corridor through the Black Sea, promising safe passage from mining operations and attack. These negotiations occurred at the end of May and noticeably back-seated Ukrainian representatives in what many consider to be a blood money deal between Istanbul and Moscow. The safe passage of this ship may set a precedent for Ukrainian ships leaving Odessa.
The Azov Concord attempted to leave Mariupol for days ago but was stopped by Donetsk Peoples Republic officials due to the ships operator not paying a newly implemented tax by the self-declared government, a fee not previously implemented by the Ukrainian government. It is not clear at this time how much the fee was or how the issue was resolved but the ship has now departed.