Russia warns ships bound for Ukraine Ship’s crew


July 19 (Reuters) – Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that it will consider all ships calling at Ukrainian ports as potential carriers of military cargo and their flag countries as parties to the conflict on the Ukrainian side.

The move follows Russia’s decision this week to withdraw from the United Nations-brokered Black Sea grain export deal, which last year guaranteed the safety of Ukraine’s exports.

“In connection with the termination of the Black Sea Initiative and the end of the Maritime Humanitarian Corridor, as of 00:00 Moscow time on July 20, 2023 (21:00 GMT on Wednesday), all ships calling at Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea waters are considered potential carriers of military cargo ‘ the ministry said in a statement via messaging app Telegram.

Ukraine establishes temporary shipping route after Russia pulls out of grain deal

Russia also stated that south-eastern and north-western parts of the Black Sea’s international waters were temporarily unsafe for navigation, without giving details of the affected parts of the sea.

The Turkey-UN brokered Black Sea Grains Agreement, designed to facilitate Russian and Ukrainian agricultural exports, expired on July 17 after Russia refused to extend its involvement.

Moscow complains that a parallel agreement to relax rules on Russian food and fertilizer exports has not been implemented. Kiev has demanded security guarantees to allow shipping to resume without Russian involvement.

(Reporting by Felix LightEditing by Peter Graff)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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