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Russia Warns it May Block Ships with Ukraine Grain

Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, speaks about the situation of grain shipments from Ukraine following a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, speaks about the situation of grain shipments from Ukraine following a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Russia’s U.N. ambassador accused Ukraine of using the Black Sea shipping corridor to get grain to world markets “for military and sabotage purposes” against its fleet on Monday, saying this is why it suspended implementation of the deal and warning that it will not allow the unimpeded passage of vessels without its consent which is currently taking place.

Vassily Nebenzia told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council called by Russia that “the Black Sea remains an area of hostilities” and “we cannot allow an unimpeded passage of vessels without our inspection.” He said Russia will “undertake our own measures” to control the ongoing ship movements but gave no details.

Nebenzia accused Ukraine, with help from the West, especially the United Kingdom, of carrying out “massive aviation and sea strikes” on Russia’s Black Sea fleet and infrastructure in Sevastopol in the early morning hours of Oct. 29, “under the cover of the humanitarian grain corridor” which was established under the July 22 gain deal. As a result, “the Russian side cannot guarantee the safety of civilian vessels participating in the Black Seat Initiative,” he said.

Under the Black Sea Initiative, a Joint Coordination Center in Turkey was established to control and inspect ships heading to load Ukrainian ships from three Black Sea ports and fully loaded vessels en route to world markets. It comprises representatives from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations.

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