Britain’s U.N. Ambassador, Barbara Woodward, has shared information that suggests the Russian military might escalate its attacks beyond Ukrainian grain facilities to target civilian ships in the Black Sea. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak informed Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy about this during a phone call.
According to the information, Russia has also placed more sea mines near Ukrainian ports. Woodward stated that they agree with the U.S. assessment, which believes this is a coordinated effort to shift blame onto Ukraine for any attacks on civilian ships in the region.
Russia’s mission to the United Nations did not respond immediately to the news. However, the White House had previously issued similar warnings about potential attacks on civilian ships and sea mines.
The U.N. Security Council is planning to hold two consecutive meetings on Ukraine. The first, requested by Russia, will discuss accusations of Ukrainian persecution against the Moscow-linked Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The second meeting, requested by Ukraine, will address recent Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure and ports, as well as their attempts to control global food supplies.
Recently, Russia exited a deal that allowed safe Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain for the past year, leading to higher global wheat and corn prices. Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised to offer African leaders free Russian grain as a replacement. However, the U.N. argues that the previous deal benefited poorer countries by providing lower global prices.
In conclusion, the situation is tense, and there are concerns about potential threats to civilian ships and the stability of food supplies in the region.