Russia has suspended its participation in the deal to export Ukrainian grain, following attacks on its Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
This came “in the light of the recent events connected to the terrorist attacks against ships of the Black Sea Fleet," a ministry statement said.
In a separate statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the Ukrainian armed forces of using the humanitarian corridor to carry out attacks at Russia's military base and the Black Sea Fleet.
“In connection with the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces, led by British specialists, including against Russian ships that ensure the functioning of the relevant humanitarian corridor (which can only be classified as a terrorist attack), the Russian side cannot guarantee the safety of civilian dry cargo ships participating in the Black Sea initiative and is suspending its implementation indefinitely from today,” the Russian statement said.
The Russian Embassy in Ankara said on Twitter: “In view of the terrorist attack on the ships of the Black Sea Fleet and civilian vessels tasked with ensuring the security of Kyiv's grain corridor, Russia has suspended its participation in agreements on the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of using "a false pretext to block the grain corridor which ensures food security for millions of people."
"We have warned of Russia’s plans to ruin the Black Sea Grain Initiative," Kuleba said in a Twitter post, urging countries "to demand Russia to stop its hunger games and recommit to its obligations."
On Saturday, Russia accused the UK of being involved in explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines as well as of helping Ukraine plan a drone attack on Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.
The British Defense Ministry rejected the allegations, saying: "To detract from their disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale."
Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement on July 22 in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February. A Joint Coordination Center with officials from the three countries and the UN has been set up in Istanbul to oversee the shipments.