Russia’s missile attack on Ukraine’s power infrastructure this week, which included an apartment strike that killed a resident, was a response to a drone attack on a Russian ship in Crimea, President Vladimir Putin told media today, as quoted by Reuters.
Drone attacks have targeted Russian ships in Black Sea ports and Russia responded by withdrawing from a grain export deal agreed earlier this year. According to Putin, the attackers are using the wheat corridor created under the agreement to reach their targets.
The Ukrainian side was not responsible for the attack on the Russian ships.
Russia has focused its attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure since last month’s bombing of the Crimean bridge.
These latest developments indicate that the chances of an end to the nine-month conflict are slim as months have passed. This is bad news for the world considering the importance of Russia and Ukraine as grain exporters.
It is also bad news for the energy market because, after the destruction of Nord Stream 1 and 2, Ukraine remains one of the two routes of Russian gas to Europe, along with Turkey. A further escalation of the war could lead to less gas reaching the world market.
Europe seems poised for such an event in the short term, with full gas storage facilities, more LNG cargoes coming to European ports, and some luck with warmer-than-usual October weather.
Meanwhile, the UN and Turkey, who have brokered a grain deal, are trying to save it without Russia’s withdrawal, Reuters reported earlier this week. According to the report, the participating parties agreed to the departure of 12 ships from abroad after proper inspection at a joint coordination center involving Russian and Ukrainian officials.
Another 40 ships were to be inspected on Monday, Reuters noted in its report.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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