- Russia Suspends Participation in UN Grain Agreement
- The move comes after the drone attack on Crimea
- Russia says British aided drone attack
- Ukraine says Russia invented attack
(Reuters) – Russia on Thursday suspended its participation in the United Nations-brokered Black Sea grain deal. It said it was a massive attack by Ukrainian drones against the Russian fleet in Crimea, striking an attempt to alleviate the global food crisis.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukraine had attacked the Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol in the annexed Crimea with 16 drones early on Saturday, with British naval “experts” coordinating a “terrorist” attack. said to have helped.
The suspension cuts off Ukrainian grain exports from key Black Sea ports.
Russia, in a letter to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said it would suspend the deal “indefinitely” because it could not “guarantee the safety of civilian vessels” sailing under it, confirmed by Reuters.
Russia has also asked the UN Security Council to meet on Monday about the attack, Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN Dmitry Polyansky wrote on Twitter.
Britain said on Saturday that Russia’s claims that British naval personnel blew up the Nord Stream pipeline last month were false and intended to distract attention from Russia’s military failures.
Russia repelled the attack, but said the targeted ship was involved in securing a grain corridor from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia’s suspension of grain export agreements would require a strong international response from the United Nations and the Group of 20 Major Countries and Territories.
“This is a completely transparent attempt by Russia to return to the threat of large-scale famine for Africa and Asia,” Zelensky said in a video speech.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Moscow was using false pretexts to sink the deal.
“I call on all countries to demand that Russia stop playing the Hunger Games and fulfill its obligations,” Kleba said.
The deal, brokered by the United Nations, will allow the shipment of grain from Ukraine, one of the world’s largest exporters, where Russian aggression has been stopped.
In a statement, the European Union said that “all parties must refrain from unilateral actions that would jeopardize” the transaction described as an important humanitarian effort.
More than 9 million tons of corn, wheat, sunflower products, barley, rapeseed and soybeans have been exported since Russia and Ukraine signed the UN-backed Black Sea Grains Initiative in Turkey on July 22.
But before the deal expired on November 19, Russia repeatedly said there were serious problems with the deal.
A UN spokesman said the UN was in contact with Russian authorities about the situation.
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said only on Wednesday that he was “relatively optimistic” about the deal being extended beyond mid-November.
Turkish defense analyst Turan Oguz said: “Western market prices were lowered, but Russia got nothing from the deal.” I think that”
Just 24 hours before Russia’s move, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the parties to renew the agreement.
UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said: “There is an urgent need to do something to contribute to food security around the world and alleviate the suffering that this global cost of living crisis is inflicting on billions of people. emphasize that
Russia’s Minister of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev said that Russia is ready to supply up to 500,000 tons of grain to poor countries free of charge over the next four months with the help of Turkey, and that it is taking steps to supply Ukraine’s grain. said to replace it.
“The Russian Federation is ready to replace Ukrainian grain and deliver goods to all interested countries at affordable prices,” he said.
Written by Guy Faulconbridge, reported by a Reuters reporter.Edited by Andrew Cawthorne, Frances Kelly, Christina Fincher, David Junggren, Daniel Wallis
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.