UK Accuses Russia Of Targeting Civilian Cargo Ship With Cruise Missiles

The UK has accused Russia of strategically targeting a civilian cargo vessel with several cruise missiles as it rested in Ukraine’s port of Odesa last month.

The attack on 24th August was thwarted by Ukraine’s air defences, the UK’s foreign office mentioned.

Targeting Civilian Cargo Ship With Cruise Missiles
Representation Image

It added that the Liberian-flagged vessel was targeted by missiles fired by a Russian carrier.

In July 2023, Russia warned that vessels sailing to Ukraine’s ports via the Black Sea may be perceived as military targets.

The warning came after Moscow decided to withdraw from a UN-backed grain deal that had witnessed civilian cargo vessels promised the liberty to export Ukraine’s grain via the Black Sea.

At the time, Putin complained that there were too many limitations on its agricultural goods.

Moscow further demanded that a major Russian financial institution be let into a global payments system and limitations be lifted on Russia’s fertilizer firms and its vessels to access insurance and foreign ports.

What was the Ukraine grain deal?

It began a series of strikes on ports in southern Ukraine within days of withdrawing from the deal, which it had pledged not to do under the agreement.

Speaking to the parliament on Monday, UK PM Rishi Sunak said that the foiled attack on the grain vessel succeeded in reflecting how desperate Putin is.

Ukraine has the right to export goods via international waters and also has the moral right to transport grain that helps feed the world, per Mr Sunak.

Russia is yet to comment on this attack.

Moscow has been targeting Ukraine’s port infrastructure since it pulled out of the grain deal. Kyiv has also accused it of one “cynical” attempt to impair grain exports and undermine worldwide food security.

In its statement, the Foreign Office mentioned that Russia has been able to destroy 280,000 tons of grain since it pulled out of the deal, accusing it of attempting to weaponize food and innocent trade at the expense of the rest of the world.

Officials further said that Russia’s attacks had impaired 26 port infrastructure facilities in Odesa and the ports of Chornomorsk and Reni since July this year.

In July 2023, Kenya’s officials said that Russia’s withdrawal from the deal resulted in a stab in the back for the people living in drought-hit nations.

Korir Sing’Oei, the top civil servant in Kenya’s foreign affairs ministry, mentioned that an increase in global food supplies caused by the move disproportionately affects the nations in the Horn of Africa impacted by the drought.

Putin has also pledged to offer free grains to six African nations — all of which have supported Russia at renowned international forums.

However, the foreign office has declared that the amount of grain destroyed by Russia’s strikes exceeded the amount Moscow had pledged to donate to African states, adding that it could’ve fed up to a million individuals for up to a year.

References: EURONEWS, BBC

Latest Shipping News You Would Like:

Get the Latest Maritime News Delivered to Your Inbox!

Our free, fast, and fun newsletter on the global maritime industry, delivered everyday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *