Russia’s war on Ukraine latest news: U.N. seeks to rescue grain deal
The head of the United Nations said he was “deeply concerned” by Russia’s decision to suspend its participation in a U.N.-brokered grain deal and delayed a foreign visit to try to revive the agreement, which aims to ease a global food crisis.
* Russia said on Saturday it suspended participation in July’s Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allowed major exporter Ukraine to ship agricultural produce, after Ukrainian attacks on ships in Crimea.
* A total of 218 vessels are “effectively blocked” as a result of Moscow’s move, Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry said on Sunday; analysts predicted global wheat prices would leap.
* Ukrainian Foreign Miniter Dmytro Kuleba accused Moscow of using a “false pretext” to pull out of the grains deal. NATO and the European Union called on Russia to reverse its decision.
* Russia’s defense ministry said it had recovered the wreckage of drones used to target the ships and had found they were equipped with Canadian-made navigation. Some Ukrainian officials suggested Russia itself might be responsible for the damage. Reuters was not immediately able to verify either side’s claims.
* The United Nations and Turkey, which brokered the deal, both said they were working to revive it.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia was trying to create an artificial famine in developing countries, calling for a strong UN and G20 response.
* U.S. President Joe Biden called the move “purely outrageous,” saying it would increase starvation, while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia was weaponizing food.
NORD STREAM, CRIMEA
* Russia’s defense ministry said on Saturday that British navy personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month, a claim that London and Paris said was false and designed to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine.
* Moscow offered no evidence for its claim. The ministry said “British specialists” from the same unit directed Ukrainian drone attacks on its Black Sea fleet that it said were largely repelled by Russian forces, with minor damage to a Russian minesweeper.
* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said President Vladimir Putin’s willingness to negotiate remains unchanged and Moscow was ready to listen to “realistic” proposals.” Lavrov’s comments were quickly dismissed by his Ukrainian counterpart. “No one should get fooled by this,” Kuleba said on Twitter.
* Russia said on Saturday the accelerated deployment of modernized U.S. B61 tactical nuclear weapons at NATO bases in Europe would lower the “nuclear threshold” and that Russia would take the move into account in its military planning.
* The Russian army repelled attacks by Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv, Kherson and Luhansk regions, Russian news agencies cited the defense ministry as saying on Sunday. It also accused Ukraine of firing near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, but said the radiation situation remained normal, TASS reported.
* Serhyi Cherevaty, spokesman for Ukraine’s east military command, said there were fierce battles near Bakhmut in Donetsk region with Russian corpses left on the battlefield. Ukrainian forces had held back Russian assaults on two other areas in the region, around Avdiivka and Uhledar, he said on television.
Reuters was not able to verify the reports. (Compiled by William Mallard, Frances Kerry, Tomasz Janowski and Philippa Fletcher)
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