Russian warship fires warning shots at cargo ship in Black Sea: Reuters

A Russian naval vessel has fired warning shots at a cargo ship in the southwestern Black Sea as it made its way northward, the Reuters agency reported.

The Port of Izmail, south-western Ukraine.

The Port of Izmail, south-western Ukraine.Photo:, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The incident marks the first known use of warning shots by Russia against a commercial ship operating outside of Ukraine since Moscow’s withdrawal from a landmark UN-brokered grain deal.

The agreement had allowed Ukraine to freely transport its agricultural products through the Black Sea.

Russia’s departure from the deal, announced in July, was accompanied by a stern declaration that it views any vessels bound for Ukrainian waters as potential carriers of weaponry.

The incident involving the Russian warship and a cargo ship sailing under the flag of Palau.

According to a statement released by the Russian defence ministry, the incident took place on Sunday when the Russian patrol ship Vasily Bykov issued warning shots using automatic weaponry toward the commercial vessel Sukru Okan, bearing the flag of Palau.

The Russian side maintains that the captain of the cargo ship failed to respond to requests for a halt to facilitate inspection, according to a report by Reuters.

Having fired the warning shots, the Russian military accessed the Sukru Okan vessel using a helicopter and subsequently conducted an inspection.

Following the inspection, the ship was allowed to continue its journey toward the Ukrainian port of Izmail.

According to Reuters, opening fire on a merchant vessel will further amplify existing worries among ship owners, insurers, and commodity traders regarding the potential risks associated with becoming entangled in the Black Sea – the primary route used by both Ukraine and Russia for transporting their agricultural goods.


Source: Reuters

Radio Poland

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