Russia Slammed for 'Food Terrorism' After Suspending Ukraine Grain Deal

A top Ukrainian adviser blasted Russia on Saturday after its state media announced that Moscow is no longer participating in a deal to export grain from Ukrainian ports amid its ongoing invasion of the Eastern European country.

According to the Russian state news agency TASS, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the country is ending its participation in the deal following an alleged Ukrainian attack on Russian warships belonging to the Black Sea Fleet in the city of Sevastopol.

"Taking into account the act of terrorism committed by the Kiev regime with the participation of British specialists on October 29, 2022 against the Black Sea Fleet ships and the civilian vessels employed to safeguard security of the grain corridor, Russia suspends its participation in the implementation of the agreements on the exports of agricultural produce from Ukrainian ports," the defense ministry said, TASS reported.

Responding to the news, Anton Gerashchenko wrote: "Russia decided to go back to food blackmail and food terrorism."

In August, ships that had been blocked at the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war were able to begin transporting grain via the Black Sea after the two countries reached a deal brokered by the United Nations (U.N.) and Turkey. The deal was made in order to ease soaring food prices, particularly in the Middle East and Africa where certain nations are especially reliant on exports from Ukraine and Russia.

In July, Ukrainian officials said they didn't trust Russia to respect the deal to unblock the ports to release tens of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain.

"I don't think anyone has reasons to trust Russia," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at the time.

According to TASS, Russia's defense ministry alleges that just after 4 a.m. on Saturday, Ukraine "carried out a terrorist attack on ships of the Black Sea Fleet and civilian ships," using drones and autonomous marine unmanned vehicles.

Russia Slammed For 'Food Terrorism'
Above, Ukrainian Navy corvette Vinnitsa enters the bay of the city of Odessa on April 20, 2014, as several Ukrainian navy ships left the Sevastopol and Donuzlav harbours in Crimea, which are now under Russian control. A top Ukrainian adviser blasted Russia on Saturday after its state media announced that Russia is no longer participating in a deal to export grain from Ukrainian ports amid its invasion. Alexey Kravtsov

"The Black Sea Fleet ships that were the target of the terrorist attack are involved in ensuring the safety of the grain corridor within the international initiative to export agricultural products from Ukrainian ports," the ministry said. Russian officials also said that the United Kingdom's Navy helped plan and carry out the attack.

Meanwhile, Russia has also accused the U.K.'s Navy on Saturday of being responsible for explosions that affected the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines last month, but did not provide any evidence.

In a statement on Friday, before the latest decision from Russian officials, the spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres wrote that the deal to export grains and fertilizers from Ukraine would last 120 days and could "be extended automatically on 19 November if no party objects."

"We urge all parties to make every effort to renew the Black Sea Grain Initiative and implement both agreements to their fullest, including the expedited removal of any remaining impediments to Russian grain and fertilizer export," the spokesperson wrote. "The United Nations is fully committed to continuing to work with all parties to ensure that we reach this goal. We do not underestimate the challenges, but we know they can be overcome."

Newsweek has reached out to the U.N., and the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministries for comment.