Ships Sailing To Ukrainian Ports In Black Sea Will Be Seen As ‘Carriers Of Military Cargo’, Says Russia: Report

Days after Russia suspended the Black Sea grain deal, it has warned that ships sailing to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports from Thursday would be seen as “potential carriers of military cargo”, Reuters reported quoting the Russian Defence Ministry.

“Due to the termination of the Black Sea Initiative, and the curtailment of the maritime humanitarian corridor, all ships en route to Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea will be considered potential carriers of military cargo from 00:00 Moscow time on July 20, 2023,” Russian Defence Ministry stated.

Russia also said that the countries whose flags would be found present on those vessels would be viewed as parties to the conflict, Xinhua news agency reported.

A number of areas in the northwestern and southeastern parts of the international waters of the Black Sea have been temporarily declared dangerous for navigation, Russia said.

Ukraine, on Wednesday, said that it was attempting to establish a temporary route via Romania, which is one of the neighbouring Black Sea countries. Ukraine’s acting minister for communities, territories and infrastructure development wrote a letter to the UN shipping agency, the International Shipping Organisation, saying “its goal is to facilitate the unblocking of international shipping in the north-western part of the Black Sea,” as reported by news agency Reuters.

This week, Russia suspended the Black Sea grain deal that allowed the export of grain from war-torn Ukraine by sea — a move that threatens to jack up food prices worldwide and push millions into hunger. While announcing its withdrawal from the pact on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it was also removing guarantees for safe navigation in the Black Sea.

The last ship, which was still under this deal, left Ukraine on Sunday. Both Ukraine and Russia are among the top grain exporters in the world. 

Meanwhile, Moscow launched an air attack on the Odesa region on Monday and Tuesday nights. Grains terminals and an industrial facility, warehouses, shopping malls, residential and administrative buildings, and cars were damaged on Tuesday night, Ukrainian officials said, as per Reuters.

As per Ukraine’s southern military command, Russia used supersonic missiles, including the Kh-22, which was designed in order to take out aircraft carriers, to hit the infrastructure at Odesa’s port.

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