Russia’s actions have made the region unsafe for shipping.
The United States has information that the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation received an order to effectively block Ukrainian ports of Odessa and Ochakov.
According to The Guardian, Citing officials and declassified intelligence data, the Russian Navy has been ordered to lay mines in the ports of Odessa and Ochakov and has already mined the Dnieper River.
Intelligence claims it is part of a Russian grain export blockade that threatens to provoke global famine.
The US says its intelligence points to a concerted Russian strategy to cut off a stretch of coastline under Ukrainian control.
“The US has information that the Black Sea Fleet has been ordered to effectively blockade the Ukrainian ports of Odessa and Ochakov,” a US official said.
Russia denies planting mines around Black Sea ports and blames Kyiv, saying Ukrainians mined their own ports.
“We can confirm that, despite Russia’s public statements that it does not mine the northwestern part of the Black Sea, Russia is in fact placing mines in the Black Sea near Ochakov. We also have evidence that Russian troops have previously mined the Dnieper River… The impact of Russia’s actions that have cut off maritime trade in the northern third of the Black Sea and made the region unsafe for navigation cannot be underestimated, as Ukraine’s maritime exports are vital to global food security,” the official said.
He also noted that Ukraine supplies a tenth of the world’s wheat exports, and about 95% of these exports leave the country through the Black Sea ports.
“The image (satellite images – UNIAN) clearly shows that the Russian invasion of Ukraine led to the destruction of three elevators, as well as a conveyor system that loads grain onto ships. Due to the Russian attack, the export capacity of the grain terminal has decreased by at least a third,” he said. US representative.
The Kremlin has officially denied attempts to provoke a global famine. Meanwhile, Russian propagandist Margarita Simonya suggested earlier this week that it was part of a strategy.
“Now the famine will begin, and they will lift the sanctions and will be friends with us, because they will understand that it is impossible not to be friends with us,” Simonyan said at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.
As UNIAN wrote, after the Russian invaders stole Ukrainian grain worth millions of dollars, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian Federation is capable of significantly increase grain and fertilizer exports.
At the same time, the leader of the aggressor country cynically stated that Russia allegedly “does not interfere with the export of grain from Ukraine.”
“Let them mine and take them out,” he said.
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu noted that there is no need to clear the Black Sea coast of Ukraine to start transporting grain.
Putin himself stated that in the event of demining, he would not use open trade routes to attack Odessa. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba stressed that the words of Putin can not be trusted.
Due to Russian aggression in the ports of Odessa region blocked 39 civil courts under the flags of 14 countries of the world.