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Updated November 1st, 2022 at 13:21 IST

Putin blames Ukrainian drones for the cessation of grain exports via Black Sea route

Russia and Ukraine traded blames over the cessation of grain exports via the Black Sea route, with Putin citing Kyiv's drone activity as a threat to the cargos.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
Edited by: Yuvraj Tyagi
Putin-Zelenskyy
Image: AP | Image:self
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Amid the trade of blames between Moscow and Kyiv regarding the different aspects of the ongoing war, Western nations have accused Russia of blocking the exports of Ukrainian grain shipments from the Black Sea corridor. The shipments are vital for the Middle East and Africa. However, denying the claims of the West, Moscow has accused Kyiv of repeatedly attempting to disrupt the safety measures that ensure the supply of exports, reported Sputnik.

Speaking at a press conference in Sochi after trilateral talks between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine for using drones in attempts to disrupt the supply of grains through the black sea region. He accused Kyiv of endangering the cargo shipments carrying grain through the humanitarian corridor set up by the Russian forces to allow the passage of cargo ships near the active conflict zone.

"These drones, both underwater and aerial, partially travelled in the corridor along which grain is exported from Ukraine,” Putin said during the press conference, reported Sputnik. He further added that the Ukrainian drones “created a threat both to our ships, which should ensure the safety of grain export and to civilian ships that are engaged in this,” while iterating that Russia had pledged to ensure the safety and security of the shipments. He further argued that if Ukraine struck the shipments, “we will be ‘guilty.’”

‘Grain exports not going to the needy’

The President of Russia further accused the humanitarian corridor that was set up “under the pretext of ensuring the interests of the poorest countries,” was not being used to do so. The deal to make the corridor functional was suspended in the wake of a drone attack on Saturday, which struck infrastructure in the Crimean port city as well as ships of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet which are based there.

Moreover, Putin claimed that most of the grain exported through the corridor had not gone to those who need it the most. Rather, according to Putin, “34% of grain goes to Turkey, 35%, a little more - to the EU countries,” while he claimed that only 3 to 4%, went to the poor nations, Sputnik reported.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Mikhail Bogdanov, said earlier on Monday that Moscow would step in and help the nations most affected by the suspension of the grain deal as much as possible.

Russia alleges boycott by European nations

Informing reporters that the decision has “not yet been made” about whether Russia would be in attendance at the G20 summit on November 15 and 16 in Bali, Indonesia, President Putin said European countries were trying to exclude Russia from various international formats.

Meanwhile, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo said last week he would not give in to pressure by the West to rescind the invitation to Russia, as happened with Putin’s invite to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom last month, reported Sputnik.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin spoke at a press conference in Sochi after trilateral talks between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The talks have been focused on restoring peace in the Caucasus region. 

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Published November 1st, 2022 at 13:21 IST

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