Russia on Saturday suspended the deal on grain exports from Ukrainian ports, vital to the world’s food supply. Moscow justified this suspension by a massive drone attack which targeted the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed in the bay of Sevastopol, in annexed Crimea, on Saturday morning, which Russia blamed on Ukraine and Great Britain.
“In view of the terrorist act carried out by the kyiv regime, with the participation of British experts, against ships of the Black Sea Fleet and civilian ships involved in the security of grain corridors, Russia is suspending its participation to the implementation of the agreement on the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports,” the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Telegram.
Russian authorities say the attack took place in the early hours of Saturday with ‘nine unmanned aerial vehicles and seven autonomous maritime drones’, causing ‘minor damage’ to a minesweeper vessel and the bay’s containment boom of Sevastopol. “The preparation for this terrorist act and the training of the military personnel of the 73rd Ukrainian Special Maritime Operations Center were carried out by British specialists based in Ochakov, in the Mykolaiv region of Ukraine. »
” Fake news “
Faced with these accusations, the British Defense reacted by denouncing “false information” intended to “divert attention”, while a Ukrainian official suggested that “negligent handling of explosives” by Russian forces was to the origin of the incident.
Ukraine also called for pressure to be exerted so that Russia “recommits to respecting its obligations” for this agreement concluded in July under the aegis of the UN and Turkey, the only one between Moscow and kyiv since the start of the conflict.
Another “made up story”
Moscow also accused London on Saturday of being involved in the explosions that damaged the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea in September and promised to submit the question to the UN Security Council. “Russia has repeatedly called for a joint investigation into the attacks (…). The fact that Western countries have refused this proposal confirms it: they have something to hide,” Russian foreign affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.
The British Ministry of Defense also denounced a “fabricated story” by Russia to “distract attention from its disastrous management of the illegal invasion of Ukraine”. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said she gave “no credence” to the Russian accusations.
An important agreement
The grain agreement had allowed the export of several million tonnes of grain stuck in Ukrainian ports since the start of the conflict in February. This blockage had caused food prices to soar, raising fears of famine. The UN, guarantor of the agreement, called for it to be preserved, stressing that it had a “positive impact” for access to food for millions of people around the world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ramped up criticism of the deal in recent weeks, pointing out that exports from Russia, another major grain producer, were suffering because of the sanctions.
letelegramme Fr Trans