Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday called on Ukraine to guarantee maritime safety after announcing the suspension of a grain export deal with Ukraine. Moscow announced the suspension of the deal, accusing Ukraine of misusing a safe shipping corridor. News from AFP.

“Ukraine must guarantee that there will be no threat to the safety of civilian ships,” Putin told a news conference.

He blamed Kiev for using the corridor to attack Russia’s Crimean fleet, prompting Moscow to suspend an agreement allowing Ukrainian food exports.

Putin said, “Ukraine targeted the fleet in the Black Sea. There they put our ships and civilian vessels in danger.’

“This is a threat to our ships and civilian shipping,” Putin said.

He insisted, “Russia has suspended its participation in the agreement, even if it has not completely withdrawn.”

Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement last July mediated by Turkey and the United Nations. The agreement was made to remove barriers to the export of essential food crops from Kiev, in a bid to avert a global food crisis caused by the Ukraine conflict.

(01 November/FA)