Why Russia uses "grain deal" for manipulation: ISW analyzed the actions of the occupants
Terrorist state Russia continues to attempt to sow discord within NATO and the Alliance's relations with Ukraine by undermining Western support for our state. To do this, Russia is manipulating the "grain deal" and striking Ukrainian ports and grain infrastructure.
This conclusion was reached by analysts of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW). It is noted that the aggressor country and dictator Vladimir Putin personally are trying to encourage Western states to prematurely push Ukraine into negotiations with Russia.
According to analysts, the Kremlin is also trying to soften the Russian Defense Ministry's July 19 statement that civilian ships in the Black Sea are considered legitimate military targets. For example, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said on July 21 that the ministry's statement meant only that Russian forces would inspect the vessels.
However, ISW believes that the Russian Defense Ministry's statement still indicates that Russian forces intend to treat civilian vessels as legitimate military targets and even Vershinin's interpretation of the statement says that Russian forces will board and possibly seize foreign civilian vessels.
Analysts said Russia is maneuvering to preserve its ability to modify the current agreement rather than negotiate an entirely new one, as it seeks broad concessions from the West. Vershinin also justified Russia's withdrawal from the grain deal by accusing Ukrainian forces of using grain corridors to carry out "terrorist attacks" against Russia, which is consistent with previous statements by Russian officials and bloggers justifying Russia's withdrawal from the deal during its extension.
At the same time, Putin himself has laid out a number of demands for Russia to return to the agreement , which include, among other things, the lifting of sanctions on Russian grain and fertilizer shipments, as well as the reconnection of Russian banks servicing food shipments to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) banking system. According to analysts, increasing Russian military strikes on Ukrainian ports and grain infrastructure, as well as threats of maritime escalation in the Black Sea, are likely intended, among other things, to force the West to agree to these demands.
"The Kremlin regularly resorts to escalatory rhetoric aimed at inducing the West to make concessions. Some officials often promote this rhetoric while others feign willingness to engage in negotiations," ISW said.
To remind, on July 21, the Russians attacked the Odesa region of Ukraine with missiles for the fourth day in a row. Launched from the sea "Kalibr" hit an agricultural enterprise in the region, causing significant damage to hangars and equipment and destroying 120 tons of peas and barley.
According to Natalia Humenyuk, head of the Joint Coordination Press Center of the Southern Defense Forces, the occupants deliberately tried to destroy Ukrainian grain stocks. After all, the hit was recorded directly in the hangars of its storage and in the place where the agricultural machinery was located.
As reported OBOZREVATEL:
- Grain deal ceased to function since July 18. The EU condemned the actions of the Russian Federation, while UN and Turkey promised "not to stop the efforts" with Ukraine counting on the work of the grain corridor without Russia at all;
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine would resume grain exports despite the threat the ships to be attacked by the Russian Federation. In particular, the Ukrainian diplomat wanted to show Kyiv's readiness to expose Moscow's bluff against the background of the confrontation in the Black Sea;
- The Ukrainian Defense Ministry reacted to the Russian Federation's threats to safe navigation in the Black Sea. It noted that from July 21, it will consider all vessels heading to Russian ports, as well as to ports in the occupied territories of Ukraine, as ones carrying military cargo with all the relevant consequences;
- The Russian Federation reacted to the warning issued by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry regarding vessels in the Black Sea. Thus, the Kremlin said that Kyiv "does not bend to anything" and thus "poses a danger".