Photo by Media Center Ukraine – Odesa: Dmytro Pletenchuk, spokesman for the Ukrainian Navy
September 26, 2023, 17:59

Russian shelling of grain hubs and ports in Odesa region is blackmail, terrorism, and an attempt to eliminate a competitor from the market – Ukrainian Navy spokesman

The shelling of port and grain infrastructure is part of the Russian Federation’s economic rather than military strategy. This opinion was expressed by Dmytro Pletenchuk, spokesman for the Ukrainian Navy, at a briefing at the Ukraine-Odesa Media Center.

“Russia is also a major supplier of grain and grain products and, accordingly, they see Ukraine as a major competitor. Because Ukraine is one of the top grain producers in the world. And in this way, they are trying to get several bonuses at once. One of them is to remove us from the market where we interfere with them. And the second is banal blackmail and terrorism. This is an attempt to use famine as an instrument of global geopolitics once again,” Pletenchuk said.

Russia seems to be showing that they are ready to exchange a grain deal for the lifting of sanctions, rather than a cessation of shelling, he emphasized. At the same time, a new corridor for civilian courts is now open, the officer reminded. As of September 26, 7 vessels have used it – 5 of them were in the ports of “big Odesa” before the full-scale invasion.

“This process is ongoing. We are doing everything to ensure the safety of the area where the vessels are in our territorial waters. Then they enter the territorial waters of Romania, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Turkey up to the Bosporus Strait. This is already the territorial sea of NATO countries. And, accordingly, a fire strike on this territory is a fire strike on the sovereign territory of these countries. Therefore, the Russians cannot dare to do this,” Pletenchuk said.

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