Russia could target civilian ships in Black Sea and blame Ukraine, U.S. says

Russia could target civilian ships in Black Sea and blame Ukraine, U.S. says

Russia could target civilian ships in the Black Sea and blame Ukraine following the Kremlin’s decision to leave the Black Sea Grain Initiative, says a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council.

That's according to CNN, Ukrinform reports.

Russia has laid additional sea mines in the approach to Ukrainian ports, spokesperson Adam Hodge said in a statement Wednesday. It is also recalled that Russia’s Defense Ministry said any ship sailing toward a Ukrainian port would be considered as potentially carrying military cargo.

“We believe that this is a coordinated effort to justify any attacks against civilian ships in the Black Sea and lay blame on Ukraine for these attacks,” Hodge said.

Read also: New military aid package will help protect grain ports in Ukraine - White House

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on July 17, the Russian Federation announced its withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed in Istanbul last July. On July 19, Russia launched a targeted air attack on grain terminals located at Ukrainian ports. The infrastructure of international and Ukrainian traders and carriers was damaged in the attack. In particular, 60,000 tonnes of grain were destroyed in the Chornomorsk port.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said the Russian strike on the Odesa port terminal proves that Ukraine is not the only target for Russia.

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