As had been anticipated, Russian Defense Ministry said that Moscow would suspend its implementation of a UN-brokered grain export deal if attacks continued on Sebastopol where the Russian Black Sea is headquartered.
The move comes after Russian naval forces repelled a drone attack in the Bay of Sevastopol, the Russian command said on Saturday. Sevastopol is located on the annexed Crimean peninsula. Moscow blamed the attack for its decision, which came a day after UN chief Antonio Guterres urged Russia and Ukraine to renew the deal.
Taking into account ... the terrorist act by the Kyiv regime with the participation of British experts against the ships of the Black Sea Fleet and civilian vessels involved in ensuring the security of the grain corridor, the Russian side suspends participation in the implementation of agreements on the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports, the ministry said in a statement.
The deal brokered by the UN and Turkey, allowed for more than 9 million tons of grain to be exported from Ukraine through the Black Sea.
The Ukrainian president's chief of staff accused Russia of blackmail and said it had invented terror attacks on its own territory following explosions on the occupied peninsula of Crimea.
Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said the suspension proves once again that negotiations with the Russian Federation are a waste of time.
”(Russian President Vladimir) Putin has turned food, the cold and prices into weapons against the world ... Russia is waging a hybrid war against Europe, taking Africa and the Middle East hostage, Podolyak tweeted.
Describing the drone attack, the governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhaev, said it was the most massive on the peninsula since the invasion began in February.
Today at night, the most massive attack by UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and remote-controlled surface vehicles in the waters of the Sevastopol bay was undertaken, he said. According to Russian reports, one warship was damaged.
It should be emphasized that the ships of the Black Sea Fleet that were attacked by terrorists are involved in ensuring the security of the 'grain corridor' as part of an international initiative to export agricultural products from Ukrainian ports,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement.
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