Russian participation in a pact that guarantees safe passage to ships transporting Ukrainian grain exports is being suspended, but not terminated, according to President Vladimir Putin.
Moscow withdrew from the UN-mediated deal on Saturday, claiming that Ukraine had attacked its navy using a safety corridor in the Black Sea.
According to the UN, there were no ships within the hallway that evening.
The incident has not been attributed to Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, declared that the agreement will be upheld and accused Russia of “blackmailing the world with hunger”—a charge Moscow disputes.
According to Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, 12 ships departed Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Monday despite the negative effects.
Following its invasion of Ukraine in February, Russia’s navy established a blockade on its Black Sea ports, holding over 20 million tonnes of grain intended for sale as well as other foodstuffs like maize and sunflower oil inside the nation.
But in July, a settlement was reached between Ukraine and Russia that agreed to resume grain exports through the Black Sea ports. This agreement was mediated by Turkey and the UN.
A “massive” drone attack on its fleet in Crimea, which President Putin said Kyiv was behind, prompted him to announce on Monday that the agreement was being terminated.
He claimed that ensuring maritime safety was essential and that carrying out grain exports under such circumstances would be too dangerous.
Mr. Putin said in a televised address that “Ukraine must ensure that there will be no danger to civilian vessels.”
Kiev has refused to claim credit for the strike, claiming Moscow had long planned to renege on the deal that had been mediated internationally and used the attack as justification for doing so.
The US has denounced Russia’s departure from the agreement, accusing Moscow of “weaponizing food.”
Josep Borrell, the head of foreign policy for the EU, has pleaded with Russia to change its mind, arguing that jeopardizing the shipment of grains and fertilizers would worsen the world food crisis.
Russian ambassador to the US rejects claims that his nation is worsening the world food crisis, claiming that such charges are unfair.
The halt comes as Russia, which had earlier claimed that its evacuations of the occupied Kherson region had ended, now claims to have increased them.