Russia says it has no plans to attack civilian ships in the Black Sea Ship’s crew


July 20 (Reuters) – Russia is not preparing for an attack on civilian ships in the Black Sea, despite claims by the United States, Russia’s ambassador to Washington said in an embassy comment on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Moscow said it would consider all ships calling at Ukrainian ports as potential carriers of military cargo and their flag countries as parties to the conflict on Ukraine’s side, after Russia canceled a year-long deal to provide ships exporting Ukrainian grain with safe passage despite the war.

The White House commented on the decision called Russia could expand its attacks on Ukrainian grain facilities to include attacks on civilian ships in the Black Sea.

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, in comments posted to the embassy’s Telegram account, said: “Attempts to credit Russia with preparing some attacks on civilian ships are pure fabrication…

“We view the US statements as an attempt to cover up by any means its own destructive activities aimed at de facto sabotaging the implementation of the related Istanbul Accords.”

Moscow on Monday canceled the deal that had allowed Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports in a bid to ease a global food crisis.

Russia said a parallel memorandum signed in Istanbul at the same time was ignored. This was intended to ease Moscow’s own grain and fertilizer exports in the face of Western sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Cynthia Osterman)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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