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Moscow accuses Ukraine of attempting to attack its ships on Black Sea, ‘jeopardising grain deal’

Russia’s defence ministry on Monday accused Ukraine of attempting to attack its ships in the Black Sea, which it said was threatening prospects for a deal on grain exports.

“The terrorist actions of the Kyiv regime jeopardize the next extension of the grain deal beyond 18 May this year,” it said in a statement on its Telegram channel.

The defense ministry said an analysis of the route taken by Ukrainian naval drones launched 23 March and 24 April showed they originated in the water area of the Crimean port of Odesa that is designated for the implementation of the Black Sea initiative.

Ukraine almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia and on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine.

More now from the UN meeting on Monday evening, where US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield called Russia a “hypocritical convener” of the meeting whose “illegal, unprovoked and unnecessary” war in Ukraine “struck at the heart of the UN Charter and all that we hold dear.”

Britain’s UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward said the world has seen “what Russia’s idea of multilateralism means for the world” – the trampling of the UN Charter and a war that has brought unimaginable suffering to Ukraine and been “an unmitigated disaster for Russia, too.”

The 27-member European Union called Russia’s attempt to portray itself as a defender of the UN Charter and multilateralism “cynical,” saying it is “in contempt” not only of the UN Charter but UN general assembly resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces.

But Lavrov defended what Moscow calls its “special military operation,” reiterating accusations that Ukraine was promoting “Nazi practices” and banning the Russian language and culture, and Nato was planning to expand into Ukraine. He stressed, however, that “it’s not all about Ukraine” but what he called the West’s plans to leverage the Ukrainian government in the hope of weakening Russia.

“We cannot consider the Ukrainian issue separately from the geopolitical context,” Lavrov said. “It’s about how international relations will continue to be shaped through the establishment of a sound consensus on the basis of balance of interests, or through aggressive and volatile advancement of Washington’s hegemony.”

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