Russia calls on UN, ICRC to accept invitation to probe Elenkova strike
The Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson tells the UN and the ICRC that Russia expects them to join the Elenkova strike investigation while calling on the West to adhere to the terms of the grain deal.
Moscow expects the relevant agencies of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to not ignore Moscow's invitation to participate in the investigation into the shelling of the pre-trial detention center in the Donetsk People's Republic town of Elenkova, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.
"We expect that the relevant UN structures, ICRC experts, who in May assisted in the evacuation of civilians from the undergrounds of Azovstal [in Mariupol], will not shy away from our invitation to take part in studying this situation," Zakharova told a briefing.
According to reports, the facility housed Ukrainian fighters captured by Russia and its allied forces during the siege of the Azovstal steel factory in Mariupol.
The bombardment occurred as Russian and DPR troops attempted to push Ukrainian troops out of the Republic's western territories.
The DPR has repeatedly accused Ukraine of shelling Donetsk and other locations with HIMARS, as scraps of US-made HIMARS missiles were discovered at the site.
The ICRC offered its support in evacuating the people injured by the strike on Friday, stressing that all prisoners of war are protected by international humanitarian law and should not be attacked as they are no longer combatants.
The Russian Ministry of Defense believes that Ukraine was attacked as an act of intimidation to eliminate or prevent any testimonies from the militants of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which were taken prisoner by the DPR or allied troops.
Russia warns West on grain deal
Zakharova warned the West against attempting not to fulfill the second part of the grain deal, which was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey with the aim of unblocking grain shipments from Ukraine.
A safe corridor in the Black Sea was agreed upon in July with difficulty for the passage of ships carrying grain. The passage will be monitored by a special group in Istanbul, operating under UN auspices.
On July 22, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, and Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov signed a grain deal mediated by the United Nations in Istanbul.
The diplomat recalled that an integral part of the Istanbul agreement is a memorandum of understanding between Russia and the UN secretariat to assist in the promotion of Russian food products and fertilizers to world markets.
Previous attempts to reach an agreement on a Black Sea grain corridor have fallen through, in part because Ukraine was unwilling to remove sea mines that it claims are critical to guarding against an alleged Russian naval attack.
The export of fertilizers and grain is intended to ease the global food crisis that has been ravaging many countries since the West imposed sanctions on Russia and prevented it from exporting its own supplies.
Russia and Ukraine play a vast role in the international arena when it comes to wheat and grain exports. They account for an estimated 30% of global exports of wheat, 20% of maize, and 76% of sunflower.
"These are package agreements, this is the one that the UN Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres) also uses. Therefore, we warn against trying to ... not complete the second part of the package. Otherwise, due to the irresponsible policy of the West, the world may not receive tens of millions of tonnes of Russian grain," Zakharova told reporters.
Lavrov to visit Myanmar
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Myanmar on Wednesday and discuss the Moscow-Naypyidaw cooperation with the leadership of the Asian country, Maria Zakharova also revealed.
"The parties intend to discuss the state of and prospects for promoting the entire range of Russian-Myanmar relations, including political dialogue, trade and economic cooperation, interaction in the field of defense, security, and humanitarian contacts," Zakharova told a briefing.
Zakharova said Lavrov will meet with Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, among others.