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State Department condemned Russia's provocation against Turkish ship

Aug 15, 2023

The US State Department has condemned the provocative actions of the Russian Navy against the Turkish cargo ship Sukra Okan in the Black Sea, which was heading to the Ukrainian port of Izmail, as an "unacceptable escalation".

This was stated by US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel, Voice of America reports.

"This is, in our view, an unacceptable escalation that once again demonstrates Moscow's responsibility for the fact that the grain does not get to where it is supposed to be delivered," the official said at a press briefing.

The deputy spokesman reminded that, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, since the suspension of Russia's participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the aggressor country has attacked 26 Ukrainian port infrastructure facilities and destroyed more than 220 thousand tons of grain.

The State Department official added that Washington continues to "closely monitor this situation".

"And we are, of course, concerned that the Russian military may expand its targets against Ukrainian grain facilities to include attacks on civilian vessels in the Black Sea," he said.

Patel emphasized that Russia should "immediately rejoin the Black Sea Grain Initiative".

As a reminder, on August 13, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it had stopped a foreign vessel in the Black Sea that was heading to the port of Izmail in the Odesa region.

The Russian Federation said that one of its warships allegedly fired "warning shots" at the cargo ship in the Black Sea after it failed to respond to a request to stop.

At the same time, it was reported that the sailors of the Sukra Okan did not obey the Russians' demands to stop the ship, but temporarily changed course towards the coast of Turkey's territorial waters.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Russia's provocative actions against the Turkish cargo ship and noted that the Russian Navy had grossly violated the UN Charter, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and other international law.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 15/08/2023

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