France has accused the Kremlin of deliberately putting global food security at risk after Russian drones strikes destroyed almost 40,000 tonnes of grain in an overnight strike on southern Ukrainian ports.
Russian kamikaze drones damaged infrastructure at a facility on the Danube vital for grain shipments from Ukraine following the collapse of the Black Sea Grain Deal.
“The Russians attacked warehouses and grain elevators – almost 40,000 tons of grain were damaged,” Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said in an English-language post on social media.
Kubrakov added that the grain was destined for some African countries, China and Israel, and accused Russia of using Iranian drones to carry out the attack.
“These are the very ports that have become the foundation of global food security today,” he said.
France reacted furiously to the strikes, accusing Moscow of “only pursuing its own interest at the expense of the most vulnerable populations” and driving up prices of agricultural products.
“Russia is once again deliberately putting global food security at risk by destroying essential grain export infrastructure,” the French foreign ministry said.
Since pulling out of the landmark Black Sea grain export deal in July, Russia has intensified attacks on facilities vital for Ukrainian grain shipments.
The deal had allowed around 33 million tons of grain to safely leave Ukrainian ports, easing fears of global food shortages.
With the Black Sea route effectively blocked, the formerly obscure Ukrainian ports of Izmail and Reni on the Danube have become crucial to the exports.
“No steps should be taken that will escalate tensions in the Russia-Ukraine war,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a phone call.
Erdogan emphasised to Putin the significance of a grain deal that he called a “bridge for peace,” the Turkish leader's office said.
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