Vladimir Putin Urges Ukraine To Ensure Safety Of Maritime Traffic
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Kyiv of using the corridor for an attack on Russia's Crimea fleet, which prompted Moscow to suspend a deal allowing Ukrainian food exports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called Monday for Kyiv to guarantee the safety of maritime traffic after Moscow suspended its role in a grain shipment deal, alleging Ukraine misused a safe shipping corridor.
"Ukraine must guarantee that there will be no threat to the safety of civilian vessels," Putin told a press conference.
He accused Kyiv of using the corridor for an attack on Russia's Crimea fleet, which prompted Moscow to suspend a deal allowing Ukrainian food exports.
"This attack was launched by Ukraine against the Black Sea fleet... They created a danger for our ships and civilian vessels," Putin said.
"It's a threat to our ships and our civilian vessels," Putin said, stressing that Russia did not withdraw from the deal but "suspended" involvement.
Russia and Ukraine in July signed a deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations to unlock critical grain from Ukraine needed to avert a global food crisis caused by the conflict.
The agreement established a safe corridor through which vessels could travel to Istanbul for inspections.
The deal had already allowed more than 9.5 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain to be exported and was due to be renewed on November 19.
The Russian and Turkish foreign ministers, Sergei Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu, raised the issue in a telephone call on Monday, according to Moscow.
"Mr Lavrov stressed the need to ensure that Ukraine guarantees that it will not use Ukraine's humanitarian corridor and ports for agricultural exports to conduct military operations against Russia," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"Only under these conditions can we discuss the resumption of movement along the security corridor," he added.