LONDON, October 2. /TASS/. Great Britain will not send its fleet to the Black Sea to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports, a reporter with The Guardian quoted British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps as saying on X (formerly known as Twitter).
Britain’s defense chief told Dan Sabbagh that he did not expect that the Royal Navy would engage in any patrol efforts in the Black Sea. In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph earlier though, Shapps said the British fleet could help defend commercial vessels carrying Ukrainian grain in the Black Sea.
Commenting on a call by his predecessor in the post, Ben Wallace, to give the Kiev regime an extra military aid worth of 2.3 bln pounds ($2.8 bln), the minister said that it was "not time to jump ahead of budgetary processes." In 2022, London committed around 2.3 bln pounds as military aid to Ukraine and the UK was resolved to match that package this year.
On July 17, Moscow declined to agree to another extension of the Black Sea grain deal, which had initially been concluded via the Istanbul agreements in July 2022 to guarantee the safe export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea as well as the lifting of restrictions to allow exports of Russian agricultural products and fertilizers. Moscow said that it was withdrawing from the deal due to the failure of the other parties to fulfill their obligations under the Russia-related provisions of the Istanbul agreements that called for facilitating the export of Russian agricultural products to global markets.
Later, the Russian Defense Ministry said that, due to the termination of the grain deal, effective at midnight on July 20 Moscow would consider all vessels heading to Ukrainian ports via the Black Sea to be carriers of military cargos, while the flag countries of such vessels would be regarded as parties to the Ukrainian conflict on the side of Kiev. Moreover, the ministry announced that the countries whose flags such vessels are carrying would be regarded as ones involved in the Ukraine conflict on the side of Kiev.