Russia halts participation in Ukraine grain agreement | Russia-Ukraine war News
Russia will withdraw from a UN-brokered deal after it said Ukraine carried out a drone strike against its fleet in Crimea.
Russia has suspended its participation in a landmark deal allowing the export of vital grain from Ukraine following a drone attack on Russian ships in occupied Crimea.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukraine attacked the Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol on the annexed Crimean Peninsula with 16 drones in the early hours of Saturday and that British naval “experts” helped control the situation. coordinate “terrorist” attacks. London flatly rejected Moscow’s claim.
The Turkey and the UN-brokered deal to unlock Grain exports signed between Russia and Ukraine in July are crucial to defuse the global food crisis caused by the conflict.
The agreement already allows the export of more than 9 million tons of grain from Ukraine and will be renewed on November 19.
“The Russian side suspends participation in the implementation of agreements on the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
Russia said the step, which would cut Ukraine’s grain exports from key ports in the Black Sea, was taken as a result of the drone attack and the involvement of British experts.
Sevastopol, which has been targeted several times in recent months, serves as the fleet headquarters and logistics hub for operations in Ukraine.
The Russian military claims to have “destroyed” nine drones and seven maritime planes in an attack on the port early Saturday.
Moscow’s forces are accused of being British “experts”, who they say are based in the southern Ukrainian city of Ochakiv, who helped prepare and train Kyiv to carry out the attack.
In another case outside of the UK – which Moscow considers one of the most hostile Western countries – Russia said it was the British unit that was involved in explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipeline last month. .
The UK strongly rebutted both claims, saying that “the Russian Ministry of Defense is resorting to selling false claims on a grandiose scale”.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow will increase the number of explosions and drone attacks it believes are at the United Nations Security Council.
“This made-up story says more about the debates going on within the Russian government than it does about the West,” the British Ministry of Defense said.
Moscow’s military said the ships targeting its base in Crimea were linked to a UN-brokered grain deal.
Russia has recently criticized the deal, saying its grain exports have been affected by Western sanctions.
Russia’s decision “proves once again that negotiations with the Russian Federation are a waste of time,” a top Ukrainian official said.
“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin has turned food, cold and prices into weapons against the world… Russia is waging a mixed war against Europe, holding Africa and the Middle East hostage.” , presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
The UN also called for the agreement to be upheld.
Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, said: “It is vital that all parties refrain from any action that could affect the Black Sea Grains Initiative, an effort. important humanitarian force”. access to food for millions of people worldwide.
He said the United Nations office has been in contact with Russian authorities on the matter.