The Kremlin announced on Monday Agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain Which expires at midnight (21:00 GMT) “has practically expired,” stressing that Russia is ready to return to it “immediately” when its conditions are met.
“The Black Sea agreement has practically ended today,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, adding: “As soon as the part related to Russia (in the agreement) is met, Moscow will immediately return to the agreement on grain,” according to AFP.
While he pointed out that the decision not to renew the agreement had nothing to do with the attack that took place during the night on the bridge linking Russia and Crimea, which he described as a “terrorist act”, and accused Ukraine of carrying it out, stressing that “the two matters have nothing to do with each other at all. Even before Terrorist attack, President Putin announced the situation.
For her part, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow has officially informed Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations that it opposes extending the grain export agreement in the Black Sea, according to the RIA news agency.
Officially reported to Ukraine
In turn, Moscow’s ambassador to Belarus, Boris Gryzlov, stated that his country had officially informed Ukraine through the Russian embassy in Minsk that it would suspend its participation in the grain export agreement through the Black Sea.
Gryzlov added that the embassy had sent a notification to Ukraine through diplomatic channels, and that the agreement would expire as of July 18, according to Reuters.
Reducing the global food crisis
It is noteworthy that the agreement, which was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey last July, aims to alleviate the severity of the global food crisis by opening the door to safe export of Ukrainian grain, which was prevented by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
It has also been extended several times, but its deadline is Monday. Russia has been saying for months that the conditions for the extension have not been met.
Attack on the Crimean Bridge
This comes while two civilians, a man and a woman, who were in a car, were killed in an attack targeting, on Sunday night, a bridge linking Russia with the peninsula. Crimea annexed by Moscow, according to what was reported by the Russian authorities, who accused Ukraine of being behind it.
The Russian authorities opened an investigation on charges of carrying out a “terrorist act”.
The Russian Investigation Authority also stated in a statement that “two civilians, a man and a woman, were killed in a tourist car on the bridge,” also stating that their daughter was wounded.
Crimean Bridge in Russia (Reuters)
“Involvement of elements of the intelligence services”
This body in charge of major criminal cases added that “the investigation identified the involvement of elements of the intelligence services and armed formations in the preparation and implementation of this crime,” announcing the opening of an investigation for the commission of a “terrorist act.”
Regarding the circumstances of the attack, the Russian Anti-Terrorism Committee said in a statement that it took place at 03:05 (00:05 GMT) and was carried out by “marine drones”.
The railway section of the bridge was not damaged, and movement resumed before noon on Monday, according to the Crimean authorities. The movement of ferries also resumed, and motorists were asked to take them to cross.
“Executed by the Kyiv regime”
Via Telegram, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Ukraine of being behind what happened, stressing that “today’s attack on the Crimean bridge was carried out by the Kiev regime.”
In turn, the head of the Federation Council in the Russian Parliament, Sergei Mironov, considered that Moscow should retaliate by attacking Ukrainian facilities and stop negotiating the grain agreement, which ends at midnight on Monday.
It is noteworthy that the Crimean Bridge extends over a distance of 18 kilometers and was inaugurated in 2018 after the annexation of the peninsula in 2014.
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