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German FM criticises Putin’s ‘cynical’ role in Black Sea grain deal, condemns Danube attacks

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« German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock criticised both Russian President Vladimir Putin’s role in the Black Sea grain deal, as well as attacks on port infrastructure in the Danube region, following a meeting with her Romanian counterpart Luminita Odobescu in Berlin on Monday.
« The ports on the Danube have become enormously important hubs for millions of tons of grain, » she stated. « Russia wants to wipe them off the face of the earth with drones and bombs, » the minister alleged.
« Putin playing with the grain deal is cynical. Turkey’s efforts to get the deal back on track are important. It only fails because of Putin that the freighters do not have free passage again, » the German FM claimed.
Baerbock also affirmed Germany’s support for Moldova and Ukraine, emphasising their place in the European family and the European Union’s commitment to standing with them. She highlighted the formation of a ‘support coalition’ for Moldova in partnership with France and Romania.
For her part, Odobescu condemned attacks in the Danube region but clarified that the ‘drone attacks conducted by the Russian Federation did not pause any direct military threat against our national territory or Romania’s territorial waters.’
Asked if it was possible Romanian territory was ‘accidentally hit’, she added that ‘there is a risk of accidents or incidents but for the time being it is not the case. »
Ukraine has claimed Russian shelling of the Black Sea and Danube ports is aimed at disrupting the transportation of grain. On Sunday, Kiev said that two people were injured in shelling in southern areas of Odessa, claiming it had shot down 22 of 25 ‘Iranian-made’ drones.
The Russian military stated that they had conducted operations targeting ‘fuel storage’ facilities in the Ukrainian port of Reni, situated along the Danube River, which serves as a border between Ukraine and Romania.
On Monday, Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks in Sochi, with the future of the grain deal on the agenda.
The Black Sea grain initiative, signed in Istanbul in July 2022 between representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations, expired on July 17. While the agreement allowed for the export of both Ukrainian grain and Russian food and fertilisers, Moscow repeatedly insisted the latter part of the deal was not being implemented.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that ‘the blatant sabotage’ of the Istanbul agreements ‘defeats the purpose of continuing the Black Sea Initiative which did not live up to its humanitarian rationale’, while Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said that it could return ‘as soon as the Russian part is implemented’.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Kiev was determined ‘to continue the work of the Black Sea Grain Initiative or its counterpart in a tripartite format’. »

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