Russia has warned that from Thursday all ships bound for Ukraine’s Black Sea ports will be seen as possibly carrying military cargo, Reuters reported. Earlier, Ukraine announced it was creating a temporary shipping route to continue grain exports.
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, Russia’s defense ministry said it would consider all ships bound for Ukraine as potentially carrying military cargo from Thursday, and “the countries whose flags they sail will be considered parties to the Ukrainian conflict,” writes Reuters.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not disclose what actions it might take. Russia also declared the south-eastern and north-western parts of the international waters of the Black Sea temporarily unsafe for shipping.
Russia attacks Ukrainian ports
Reuters recalls that Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russia of damaging grain export infrastructure in night attacks focused on two of its ports.
During a televised meeting with senior officials, the president of Russia Vladimir Putin he blamed Western countries, which he said had “completely distorted” the expired grain deal. He added that Russia would “immediately” return to the agreement if all its conditions were met.
Main photo source: Reuters