In an attempt to justify its decision to pull out of the U.N. brokered grain deal, Russia on Sunday accused Ukraine of exploiting the “safe zone” corridor created for grain transport to attack ships of its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.
“The sea drones moved along the ‘grain corridor’ security zone, after which they changed their route in the direction of the Russian ship base point in Sevastopol,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement issued Sunday.
The statement further said that “the coordinates of movement of one of the sea drones indicate the starting point in the sea area of the ‘grain corridor’ security zone in the Black Sea.”
Citing unnamed experts, the statement added, the movement coordinates “indicate a preliminary launch” of this drone was “from one of the civilian vessels chartered by Kiev or its Western patrons to export agricultural products from Ukrainian seaports.”
Following the attack on its Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port city by around 16 aerial and sea drones, Moscow on Sunday said the debris of some drones had been recovered and were being analyzed.
Without providing any evidence, Russia alleged that the drones were equipped with Canadian-made navigation modules. Moscow also blamed the U.K. for the attack and said a Royal Navy unit masterminded the operations from the southern Ukrainian port of Ochakiv further alleging that the same British unit was involved in orchestrating the explosions of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September.
The British government has strongly dismissed both allegations, countering the charge by saying, “The Russian Ministry of Defense is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale.”
The “invented story says more about arguments going on inside the Russian government than it does about the West,” the British defense ministry said.
Stating that Russia “cannot guarantee safety of civilian ships” sailing under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, following the Ukrainian attack on its Black Sea Fleet ships, Moscow said it was indefinitely suspending its participation in the grain deal.
“The attack was shielded by safety corridors designated for implementation of the so-called ‘Black Sea Initiative’,” Russian Permanent Representative to the U.N. Vasily Nebenzya said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, adding that the ships and Sevastopol’s port infrastructure were used for the functioning of the mentioned humanitarian route.
“Taking into account the act of terrorism committed by the Kiev regime with the participation of British specialists on October 29, 2022 against the Black Sea Fleet ships and the civilian vessels employed to safeguard security of the grain corridor, Russia suspends its participation in the implementation of the agreements on the exports of agricultural produce from Ukrainian ports,” Russia news agency TASS quoting the Russian Defense Ministry said.