Russia may dismiss grain deal over Crimean bridge attack
Moscow suspects that the explosives from the terrorist attack on the Kerch bridge were smuggled on a grain truck.
President Vladimir Putin told reporters on Friday that Russia may exit the grain deal if the investigation on the sabotage of the Crimean bridge confirms that the explosives were smuggled on one of the grain trucks.
"The FSB stated that, most likely, this so-called cargo, explosives, was carried by sea from Odessa, but it has not been definitively established whether this was done with the help of grain trucks or not - that’s the question. There is no answer yet," he said.
Putin said to reporters that the grain deal was initially set up so to alleviate the effects of a global food crisis. "But if [...] it turns out that humanitarian corridors are being used to commit terrorist acts, then, of course, this will call the functioning of this [grain] corridor into question," he said.
Explosives used in TERROR ATTACK on Crimean Bridge was sent by sea from Odessa, if it turns out grain corridor deal was abused to allow for transportation of explosives, this will put into question further functioning of corridor - Putin.— J. Malkova🇷🇺♥️ (@CanadianKitty1) October 14, 2022
In a related context, Putin also told reporters that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested redistributing grain exports from Ukraine in order to send them to the poorest countries.
"He (Erdogan) has taken an active role in organizing the export of grain from Ukraine. However, unfortunately, this grain is either going in small volumes or not going at all to the poorest countries through the UN, but that's another question. We discussed that also, and during our talks yesterday, he spoke in favor of somehow redistributing the flow of this grain and, above all, sending it to the poorest countries," the Russian President said.
"It is the UN Secretary-General who should work on this, I know that he is working, but he is not succeeding in everything," Putin added.
On October 8, a truck was blown up on the motorway section of the Crimean Bridge from the Taman Peninsula, causing three people to die.
Following the attack, the political advisor to Ukraine's President, Mykhailo Podolyak, posted a message on Twitter, calling the blasting of the Crimea Bridge just "the beginning".
On October 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin held the Ukrainian security service responsible for the attack on the Kerch bridge, calling it an act of terrorism.
If the investigation confirms that the explosives were carried in one of the grain trucks, Russia may then decide to withdraw itself from the grain deal.
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 for ships transporting food and fertilizer from Black Sea ports.
Three vital Ukrainian ports — Odessa, Chornomorsk, and Yuzhne — have been cleared, allowing exports to restart. The Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Center (JCC) was established to supervise the initiative's operation, including ensuring that cargo ships do not transport illicit commodities or individuals.
According to a September JCC report, 28% of the grain shipments went to low-income countries and 44% to high-income countries since the signing of the agreement.
Part of the deal concerning Russian food exports was not working altogether, Russia's envoy to the United Nations has said, adding that this may lead to the termination of the agreement.
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