Kremlin needs no proof UK involved in Black Sea attack, trusts MoD
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says that the Kremlin trusts the Ministry of Defense and does not need evidence that the UK was involved in the Crimea attacks
The Kremlin does not need proof from the Russian Defense Ministry about Britain's involvement in the attack on the Black Sea Fleet ships and the Nord Stream pipelines, as the Defense Ministry is "more than an official source," Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told the media on Monday.
Journalists asked Peskov whether the Defense Ministry had submitted to the Kremlin evidence about Britain’s involvement in the attack carried out on October 29 and the explosion of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea.
"It is enough for everyone to have a statement from the Defense Ministry, which, relying on the information, the data that can be collected, states this [about the attack]," Peskov said, adding that the Ministry is "more than an official source that deserves absolute trust."
"The very wording [of the question] whether it presented evidence to the Kremlin is wrong. It is not customary for us to provide evidence to each other within one state," he explained.
Russia's Defense Ministry revealed on Saturday that the explosion of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea, which carry gas from Russia to Europe, involved the UK Royal Navy, with the ministry saying the UK had a hand "in the planning and realization of the terrorist act."
On October 29, Russia suspended its commitment to a landmark agreement that allowed vital grain exports from Ukraine after Kiev waged drone attacks on Russian ships in Crimea's Sevastopol.
After the Russian army accused Ukraine of a massive drone attack on its Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol, Russia made the announcement, while the UN urged the deal to remain in effect.
Crimea's Sevastopol has been a frequent target and is the headquarters for the Black Sea fleet and a logistical hub for Russian operations.
The Russian Defense Ministry retrieved from the bottom of the sea and examined fragments of drones used to target Russian Black Sea Fleet ships and infrastructure near Odessa, the ministry revealed on Monday.
Russia pointed fingers at UK "specialists" for aiding in the preparation and execution of the strike, in addition to having a hand in explosions that targeted the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month. The UK replied by rejecting the claims, stating that "the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale."
Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, said Saturday's drone attack was the "most massive" the area had seen. Calling on people not to panic, city authorities "temporarily" closed the area to boats and ferries.
In response to Russia's suspension of its participation in implementing the agreement, Ukraine responded by calling it a "false pretext", US President Joe Biden called it "purely outrageous," and Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Moscow was "weaponizing food".
Consequently, UN Secretary-General Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, commented, "It is vital that all parties refrain from any action that would imperil the Black Sea Grain Initiative which is a critical humanitarian effort."
The UN-brokered deal, signed by Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine on July 22, was set to expire on November 19. It established a humanitarian maritime corridor for ships transporting food and fertilizer from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports.
The deal has allowed the moving of over 9 million metric tons of food and "brought prices down around the world," according to Blinken, although the biggest share was going to the EU and not developing countries as the agreement stipulates.