Dry cargo ship Azov Concord was the first of the foreign ships that remained in the port of Mariupol during the special operation, left the harbor and headed for Novorossiysk with a new crew
The first foreign vessel Azov Concord left the port of Mariupol and headed for Novorossiysk accompanied by Russian warships, according to TASS and RIA Novosti.
According to RIA Novosti, the cargo ship left the port under the flag of Malta, TASS writes that the ship— Turkish.
The captain of the ship, Ivan Babenkov, told TASS that the ship left the port after repairs without cargo, recruiting a new crew. According to the commander of the Novorossiysk naval base, Rear Admiral Viktor Kochemazov, Azov Concord was supposed to leave the port of Mariupol on June 18. He said that the crew was on board the ship, it was necessary to obtain permission from the customs and border services.
A TASS source in operational services later said that the ship, according to preliminary information, would leave for its home port on June 20, since it did not pass payment for port services from a shipowner in the Donetsk People's Republic.
On May 26, the Ministry of Defense reported that in addition to Azov Concord, five more foreign ships remained in the port of Mariupol— “Princess” (Bulgaria), Azburg (Dominican Republic), “Smart” (Liberia), Blue Star (Panama) and “Lady Augusta” (Jamaica). The leadership of the countries of the ship-owning companies did not take measures to withdraw these vessels, “despite the conditions created by the Russian side for a safe exit from the Mariupol water area,” the department noted.
According to Kochemazov, the Bulgarian ship “Tsarevna” completes the technical preparation and execution of documents for the exit from Mariupol.
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On April 21, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin about the capture of the city of Mariupol. In early May, the Investigative Committee reported that the port of the city was mined, military investigators found flooded civilian ships in the port. On May 24, the Ministry of Defense announced the completion of the demining of the Mariupol port and the adjacent coast of the Sea of Azov. The next day, the seaport of Mariupol started working as usual.
Then, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that five foreign ships were leaving the port. The head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin, said that the crews of foreign ships that were in the port of Mariupol were sent to their countries, and the ships still remain there. Later, he announced that part of the ships remaining in the port would come under the jurisdiction of the DPR, the republic would have its own merchant fleet.
On May 28, the first vessel “Slavutich” entered the Mariupol port, which was supposed to take out 2.7 thousand tons of metal to Rostov-on-Don. Three days later, it left the harbor with 2.5 thousand tons of hot-rolled sheet coils, accompanied by artillery and anti-sabotage boats of the Novorossiysk naval base of the Black Sea Fleet.
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