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Russia will close grain route if Crimean Bridge explosives were smuggled over it — Putin

On October 8, a truck was blown up on the Crimean Bridge. Several cisterns of a passing truck caught fire

ASTANA, October 14. /TASS/. Russia will close the grain corridor if it is confirmed that the explosives used in the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge were smuggled out of Odessa on a grain truck, but this fact has not yet been established, President Vladimir Putin told reporters on Friday.

"The FSB stated that, most likely, this so-called cargo, explosives, was carried by sea from Odessa, but it has not been definitively established whether this was done with the help of grain trucks or not - that’s the question. There is no answer yet," he said.

Putin recalled that grain corridors were set up under the pretext of exporting products to the poorest countries. "But if <...> it turns out that humanitarian corridors are being used to commit terrorist acts, then, of course, this will call the functioning of this [grain] corridor into question," he said.

On October 8, a truck was blown up on the Crimean Bridge. Several cisterns of a passing truck caught fire. Three people died. Two spans of the automobile part of the bridge towards the peninsula collapsed. A government commission was created under Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin. Railway traffic on the Crimean bridge has now been restored. Automobile traffic has partially resumed, too.

On July 22, a package of documents was signed in Istanbul to solve the problem of food and fertilizer supplies to world markets. One of the agreements regulates the procedure for the export of grain from the Black Sea ports controlled by Kiev.

Created by Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN, the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul is designed to inspect ships with grain in order to prevent arms smuggling and to rule out provocations. The grain deal expires in November.

Speaking at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, Putin noted that almost all the grain exported from Ukraine went to the EU countries, and not to the poorest countries.