Russia assured this Monday (31/10/2022) that the agreement to export Ukrainian grain cannot proceed without its participation and said that it will not allow ships that have not been inspected by its experts to cross the Black Sea.
This was stated by its ambassador to the United Nations, Vasilij Nebenzia, at the Security Council meeting convened by Moscow after the drone attack on its Black Sea fleet and the subsequent decision to suspend the agreement it signed with Ukraine, the UN and Turkey to facilitate the production of Ukrainian grain.
Nebenzja accused Ukraine of using the mechanism for military purposes and said his country could not allow the passage of ships it had not inspected, so it would have to take its own “control measures” if the traffic continued.
Confirmation of Nebenzia’s words came hours later with a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense, which confirmed the suspension of the movement of ships through the “security corridor” in the Black Sea after the drone attack on their fleet in Crimea.
“Until the situation surrounding the terrorist action committed by Ukraine on October 29 against warships and civilian vessels in the city of Sevastopol is clarified, traffic through the security corridor of the ‘Black Sea Initiative’ is suspended,” the official statement reads.
Defense emphasizes that Russia is “not withdrawing” from the agreement, but suspending it. “The movement of ships along the security corridor is unacceptable, as it is used by the Ukrainian authorities and the armed forces of the country to carry out military operations against the Russian Federation,” added the note, which also noted that Moscow’s position was conveyed by the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council .
Nebenzia’s words come after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar discussed the deal without reaching any new agreement.
“Issues related to the suspension of the implementation of the agreement on the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports by Russia were discussed,” the Russian military ministry said in a brief statement. Soon after, a statement from the Turkish Defense Ministry reported that Akar conveyed to his Russian counterpart “the great importance of continuing the grain initiative” to help alleviate the global food crisis.
Akar emphasized that all problems can be solved through dialogue and cooperation and insisted that grain transportation is a purely humanitarian activity that must be kept outside combat conditions, according to a Turkish ministry note. He said he expected his colleague to “re-evaluate” the decision to suspend the initiative.
A few hours earlier, the Kremlin warned that the implementation of the agreement on the export of grain from Ukrainian ports after leaving Russia is risky and dangerous. “When Russia talks about the impossibility of guaranteeing the safety of navigation in these areas, such an agreement is difficult to implement and takes on a much more risky, dangerous and unguaranteed character,” said the spokesman of the Russian president, Dmitri Peskov.
mn (afp, efe, Reuters)