Britain has information indicating that “the Russian military may extend its attacks to civilian shipping in the Black Sea,” said British ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward.
On Monday, Russia abandoned the deal negotiated by UN and Turkey, an agreement that allowed the safe export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea for the past year. Ukraine made it clear that it wished to continue delivering grain by sea and informed the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), that it had “decided to provisionally establish a recommended sea route”.
In response, the Russian Defense Ministry said that from Thursday it would consider all ships sailing to Ukraine as potentially carrying military cargo, and “the countries whose flags they sail will be considered parties to the Ukrainian conflict.”
The Russian Defense Ministry did not disclose what actions it might take. Russia also announced that the south-eastern and north-western parts of the international waters of the Black Sea “are temporarily unsafe for shipping.”
British ambassador to the UN on the activities of the Russians in the Black Sea
On Tuesday, the British ambassador to the UN, Barbara Woodward, announced that Great Britain has information indicating that “the Russian military may extend its attacks on Ukrainian grain plants to attacks on civilian shipping in the Black Sea.”
The ambassador specified that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak shared this information with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during their telephone conversation on Tuesday morning.
– Our information also indicates that Russia has placed additional naval mines on the approaches to Ukrainian ports. We agree with the assessment USAthat this is a coordinated effort to justify and blame Ukraine, Woodward told reporters.
The ambassador referred to a statement from the White House, which said last Wednesday that it had information indicating that Russia had mined the approaches to Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea. “We believe this is a coordinated operation to justify any attacks on civilian vessels in the Black Sea and blame those attacks on Ukraine,” U.S. officials said at the time.
Russian troops have been carrying out a series of attacks on the area for a week Odessa and other Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.
Main photo source: Yulii Zozulia/UKRINFORM/PAP