Russia Suspends Ukraine Black Sea Grain Exports Following A Ship Attack Claim
Russia halted its participation in the UN-brokered deal revolving around Black Sea grains after what it refers to as a Ukrainian drone attack on the Russian fleet and its civilian vessels at the Sevastopol base.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has informed that Ukraine reportedly attacked the Black Sea Fleet close to Sevastopol with 16 drones on Saturday and added that specialists of the British navy had helped coordinate such a “terrorist” attack.
Britain on Saturday mentioned that Russia’s claims were untrue. Ukraine did not confirm or deny conducting such an attack but described Russia’s decision to stop the grain deal as primitive blackmail.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia’s “nonsensical” action required a robust international response from the Group of 20 (G20) major economies and the UN.
This is an apparent attempt from Russia to return to the threat of a large-scale famine in African and Asian nations. Zelenskyy mentioned in a video that Russia should be kicked out of the G20.
US President Joe Biden denounced the move as “purely outrageous” and said it would increase starvation.
The Russian side informed the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres through a letter, per Reuters, that it had been calling off the deal indefinitely as it couldn’t guarantee the safety of civilian vessels travelling per the pact.
Russian authorities have asked the UN Security Council to meet on Monday regarding the recent drone attack, Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador, published on Twitter.
Russia said it had repelled the attack; however, the ships that were a target were involved in ensuring the grain corridor out of the Black Sea ports of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Moscow was using a false pretext for sinking the deal. In a statement, the EU said that each party must refrain from unilateral actions that would imperil an agreement described as critical humanitarian efforts.
Since Ukraine and Russia signed the UN-backed Black Sea Grain Initiative on 22 July, more than nine million tonnes of corn, sunflower products, wheat, barley, soya, and rapeseed have been exported.
But Russia has repeatedly alleged that rich Western nations were taking the grains exported from Ukraine instead of permitting them to be delivered to the world’s poorest countries as intended initially.
The UN is in touch with the Russian authorities regarding the situation, a UN spokesman reported.
References: Economic Times, CGTN