The Turkish-flagged freighter Polarnet carrying Ukrainian grain transits the Osmangazi Bridge entering Izmit Bay, Turkey, August 8, 2022.file photo / Reuters

MOSCOW: Russia on Saturday suspended its participation in the UN-brokered Black Sea grain deal in an attempt to ease the global food crisis after a massive attack by Ukrainian drones on the Russian fleet in Crimea. gave a blow to

The Russian Defense Ministry said Ukraine attacked the Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol in the annexed Crimea early Saturday with 16 drones, with British naval “experts” helping coordinate the “terror” attack. said.

Russia repelled the attack, causing minor damage to the minesweeper, but said the targeted vessel was involved in securing a grain corridor from Ukraine’s Black Sea port.

“The Russian side suspends its participation in the implementation of the agreement on the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports,” the defense ministry said in a statement.

Russia said measures to cut Ukrainian grain exports from a key Black Sea port were taken with drone strikes and the participation of British experts.

The UK said on Saturday that Russia’s allegations involving British naval personnel blowing up the Nordstream pipeline last month were false and intended to divert attention from Russia’s military failures in Ukraine.

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, accused Russia of fabricating a “fictitious terrorist attack on its own facilities”, while Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said Russia was using a “false pretext”. said it sank the deal using

“I call on all countries to demand that Russia stop playing the Hunger Games and fulfill its obligations,” Kleba said.

The United Nations-brokered grain trade is crucial to the food market. This allowed him to export grain from Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters, and deterred a Russian invasion.

Since Russia and Ukraine signed the UN-backed Black Sea Grains Initiative in Turkey on July 22, more than 9 million tons of corn, wheat, sunflower products, barley, rapeseed and soybeans have been exported from Ukraine.

But before the grain deal that allows Ukraine to export grain to the Black Sea expires on November 19, Russia has repeatedly said there are serious problems with this. Western officials say exports from Ukraine will help ease the food crisis.

Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said Russia will soon formally notify UN Secretary-General António Guterres of the moratorium on the Ukrainian Black Sea grain trade.

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 markets were priced lower, but Russia got nothing from the deal.” I think that”

Just 24 hours before Russia suspended its participation in the deal, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres appealed to the parties to renew it.

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

Dujarric said “governments, shipping companies, grain and fertilizer traders and farmers around the world” are seeking clarity on the future of the trade.

Following the attack on the Russian fleet, the Russian Foreign Ministry said: “The Russian side cannot guarantee the safety of civilian dry cargo ships participating in the ‘Black Sea Initiative’ and will suspend its implementation indefinitely from today.” said.

Russia’s Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said Saturday that Russia is ready to supply up to 500,000 tonnes of grain to poor countries free of charge over the next four months, with the support of Turkey, to support Ukrainian grain supplies. Said it would be replaced.

“Considering this year’s harvest, the Russian Federation is ready to substitute Ukrainian grains and deliver goods at affordable prices to all interested countries,” he said.

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