Russian warship fires warning shots at cargo ship in Black Sea

  • Russia fires on cargo ship in Black Sea
  • Russia says it uses automatic weapons to open fire
  • Russia says the ship did not respond to a stop warning
  • Russia says the ship is now on its way to Ukraine

MOSCOW, Aug 13 — A Russian warship fired warning shots from automatic weapons at a Palau-flagged dry cargo ship in the southwestern Black Sea as it headed towards Ukraine on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The UN will ensure that Ukraine can bring its agricultural products to market via the Black Sea. Russia scrapped a brokered grain deal last month and Moscow warned that it would consider all ships sailing into Ukrainian waters capable of carrying weapons.

Russia said in a statement that its Vassili Bykov patrol vessel fired automatic weapons at the Sugru Okhan after the ship’s captain failed to respond to a request to stop for inspection.

The Ministry of Defense said that the Shukru Okhan was on its way to the Ukrainian port of Ismail. According to Refinitiv Shipping data, the ship was heading north towards the Bulgarian coast.

“Warning shots were fired from automatic weapons to forcibly stop the ship,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The Russian military boarded the ship with the help of a Ka-29 helicopter.

“After the inspection team completed its work on board, Sugru continued on its way to Ogun Ismail port,” the Defense Ministry said.

Reuters could not immediately reach the ship or its owners for comment.

Ukraine and the West say Russia’s actions amount to a de facto blockade of Ukrainian ports that threatens to cut off the flow of wheat and sunflower seeds from Ukraine to world markets.

See also  Furman Paladins capitalize on late mistakes to pull off shocking March Madness upset against Virginia Cavaliers

Ukraine’s response — maritime-drone attacks on a Russian oil tanker and a warship at its Novorossiysk naval base, next to a major grain and oil port — added to these new dangers to shipping in the Black Sea.

Both Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s leading agricultural producers, with major players in wheat, barley, sorghum, rapeseed, rapeseed oil, sunflower seed and sunflower oil markets. Russia also dominates the fertilizer market.

Guy Falconbridge Report; Editing by Bernadette Baum

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

As Moscow bureau chief, Guy runs coverage of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Prior to Moscow, Guy ran Brexit coverage as London Bureau Chief (2012-2022). On the night of Brexit, his team delivered one of Reuters’ historic successes – breaking the news of Brexit first to the world and financial markets. Guy graduated from the London School of Economics and began his career as an intern at Bloomberg. He spent more than 14 years covering the former Soviet Union. He speaks fluent Russian. Contact: +447825218698

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *