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Ukraine condemns "provocative actions" of Russia in Black Sea

Moscow: Ukraine's foreign ministry has strongly condemned the ‘provocative actions’ of Russia, a day after a Russian vessel fired warning shots and boarded a cargo vessel in the Black Sea, reported CNN. 
"The Russian Navy grossly violated the UN Charter, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and other norms of international law," the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday. 
"These actions exemplified Russia's deliberate policy of endangering the freedom of navigation and safety of commercial shipping in the Black Sea." 
On Sunday, a Russian warship fired warning shots at a cargo ship, which Moscow claimed to be headed to Ukraine, in the south-western Black Sea, CNN reported citing Russia’s Defense Ministry. 
Russia said the warship fired warning shots when the captain of the Palau-flagged dry cargo ship failed to respond to a request to stop for an inspection. 
“The Russian warship opened warning fire from automatic small arms fire to forcefully stop the vessel,” the statement said. 
The ministry claimed that the ship, named Sukra Okan, was headed to the Ukrainian port of Izmail. Marine traffic websites currently show the cargo vessel’s destination as the Romanian port of Sulina which is close to Izmail. Kyiv did not immediately comment on whether or not the ship was headed to a Ukrainian port. 
“In order to inspect the bulk cargo ship, a Ka-29 helicopter with a group of Russian servicemen was hoisted from the patrol ship Vasily Bykov,” the ministry said. “Following radio conversations, the ship stopped its course and the boarding team landed on the bulk cargo ship,” the statement said. 
Earlier, Russia withdrew from the agreement that had permitted Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports a year ago, despite the war, to help alleviate a global food crisis. 
In July 2022, Turkey and the UN began talks on the Black Sea Grain Initiative, according to CNN. 
On July 17, 2023, Russia announced that it was suspending its participation in a UN-brokered deal that allowed the export of Ukrainian grain. 
Meanwhile, this week Ukraine announced that it would open up a temporary humanitarian corridor for ships to sail to and from its ports and has opened up registration for merchant vessels to use the sea route. 
The Ukrainian navy issued an order declaring "temporary corridors for merchant ships sailing to/from Ukrainian ports." 
"At the same time, it is reported that the military threat and mine danger from the Russian Federation remains along all routes," it said. (ANI)

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