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Russia has second thought on sinking vessels: Inspections to be requested instead

Russia has second thought on sinking vessels: Inspections to be requested instead In Russia, the position regarding the movement of ships in the Black Sea has changed (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

Russia will request inspections of any vessel traveling to Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea if there are suspicions that it is carrying something "something bad," according to made by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergey Vershinin, citing Russian media sources.

Vershinin clarified the position of the Ministry of Defense regarding all vessels heading to Ukrainian ports, stating that they will be considered military targets.

"It means we need to be sure of this, we need to be sure that the vessel is carrying something harmful. This implies requesting inspection if necessary to be sure whether it is true or not," said the Deputy Minister.

He also mentioned that Russian and Turkish diplomats are currently discussing how to proceed after the termination of the "grain deal," but it is too early to talk about any alternative options to the existing agreement.

The Deputy Head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also noted that there has been no reaction from China regarding the termination of the agreement. He further stated that Russia continues to discuss the ''grain deal'' with the United Nations Secretariat.

Russian threats

At the beginning of the week, Russia announced its withdrawal from the "grain deal" due to alleged non-compliance with its requirements.

Following this, the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that they will sink any vessels heading to Ukrainian ports. Moreover, countries whose ships will be heading to Ukraine will be considered involved in the war according to Moscow.

Yesterday, Ukraine responded to Russia's threats and declared that from July 20, navigation will be prohibited in the areas of the North-Eastern part of the Black Sea due to safety concerns.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense warned that vessels heading to Russian ports or ports in the occupied territories may be considered as carrying military cargo.