The United Kingdom has deployed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to monitor activities in the Black Sea where, according to an intelligence report, Russia plans to place mines targeting civilian shipping to prevent exports of Ukrainian grain.
According to Britain, the ISR capabilities will enable determining whether Russia launches such an attack, noting that Moscow may try to conceal its attempt to sink the vessels and put the blame on Ukraine.
Under Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Grain From Ukraine initiative launched in 2022, partner countries and private sector donors committed to transporting Ukrainian grain to African and Asian countries facing a food crisis resulting from Moscow’s war.
Up to 10 percent of the world’s wheat exports come from Ukraine.
“Russia’s pernicious targeting of civilian shipping in the Black Sea demonstrates Putin’s total disregard for civilian lives and the needs of the world’s most vulnerable,” U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.
The British government is currently working with Kyiv and other allies to improve the safety of agricultural produce exports through the humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea and the transport of grain using alternative routes.