The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday (30) that it had recovered and analyzed the wreckage of drones that would have been used to attack ships in its fleet in the Black Sea, and says that part of them were equipped with Canadian navigation modules.
Russia has accused the United Kingdom of carrying out an attack on the Black Sea Fleet base in the early hours of Saturday (29). It also claims that British forces organized the explosions that destroyed branches of the Nord Stream pipeline system under the Baltic Sea a month ago.
The Ministry of Defense in London has denied the allegations, calling the allegations “false on an epic scale”.
Russian officials claim that the Black Sea fleet near Sevastopol was attacked with 16 drones early on Saturday and that some of them were equipped with Canadian-made navigation modules.
“According to the results of the information retrieved from the navigation receiver’s memory, it was established that the launch of the drones took place from the coast near the city of Odessa,” the ministry said.
The agency also claims that the drones moved along the security zone in the Black Sea that serves as a corridor to drain grain before changing course to the naval base in Sevastopol, in the Crimea region, annexed by Russia in 2014.
Also according to the ministry, one of the drones would have been launched from within the safety zone of the grain corridor itself, from “a civilian ship chartered by Kiev or its Western allies”.
Russia says it repelled the attack, but that the ships in question were involved in the grain corridor operation that uses the Black Sea as a corridor to transport products.
Claiming to be a target of terrorism, Moscow said on Saturday (29) it would suspend a deal to export Ukrainian grain and fertilizers, vital to Kiev’s economic survival. Its fleet ensured the passage of civilian ships, previously blocked in its ports, according to an agreement brokered by Turkey and the UN in July.
The action has allowed more than 9.5 million tonnes of grain and other foodstuffs to be exported from Ukraine since then. Without this stock, experts warn that the price of food could rise again in the world and cause hunger.
According to information from The New York Times, Turkey made contact with Russian authorities on Sunday to discuss the resumption of the agreement.
Countries and international organizations continued to condemn the interruption of the agreement and warn that its end will result in the worsening of world hunger.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has postponed a trip to the Arab League meeting to focus on the issue, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Sunday. “The secretary remains committed to making contacts aimed at ending the Russian suspension of its participation in the agreement.”
NATO also spoke out urging Russia to reconsider its decision and urgently renew the agreement, “allowing food to reach those who need it,” said Oana Lungescu, a NATO spokeswoman.
On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office reacted by accusing Russia of “blackmail” and having “invented terrorist attacks” on its own territory. The European Union has asked for the arrangement to be returned, which was due to expire on 19 November.
The United States also reacted, saying that the interruption of the agreement would be the equivalent of “turning food into weapons”.