Downing Street has announced that “RAF aircraft” are conducting sorties over the Black Sea to “deter” Russian striking civilian vessels which are “carrying grain.”
Air patrols have now been stepped up by the RAF which could be seen as mission creep as this could draw the UK into “direct conflict” with Russia.
Vladimir Putin ordered missile and drone bombardments lasting weeks on Ukraine’s grain silos which were meant for international food trade, which comes after he pulled out of the safe passage for grain treaty.
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A No 10 source said, “We will use our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to monitor Russian activity in the Black Sea.
“As part of these operations, RAF aircraft are conducting flights over the area to deter Russia from carrying out illegal strikes against civilian vessels transporting grain.”
The British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak highlighted the “impact of food prices” before attending the G20 summit in New Delhi, India and warned of “Russia’s war on millions of vulnerable people around the world.”
Sunak said, “I’ll be highlighting that devastating impact so people are aware of what’s happening and put pressure on Russia to cease attacking civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.”
He added, “Once again, Vladimir Putin is failing to show his face at the G20. He is the architect of his own diplomatic exile, isolating himself in his presidential palace and blocking out criticism and reality.
“The rest of the G20, meanwhile, are demonstrating that we will turn up and work together to pick up the pieces of Putin’s destruction.
“That starts with dealing with the terrible global consequences of Putin’s stranglehold over the most fundamental resources, including his blockade of and attacks on Ukrainian grain.
Denys Marchuk, Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council said, “More than 270,000 tonnes of grain has been destroyed during these attacks.
“They destroy the infrastructure, elevators where grain for export to foreign markets is stored.
“Russia is doing this because the reduction of exports from Ukraine potentially opens up new foreign markets for them.
“They want to conquer new markets that Ukraine will not be able to supply.”