In a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that Russia has suspended a crucial agreement that enables the transportation of essential grain from Ukraine to countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
He said Russia would return to the deal, set to expire on Monday, after its demands are met.
“When the part of the Black Sea deal related to Russia is implemented, Russia will immediately return to the implementation of the deal,” Peskov said.
Russia says the halting of the deal has nothing to do with an attack on a bridge linking Russia to Crimea earlier on Monday.
Turkey brokered the agreement to let food leave Ukrainian ports via the Black Sea, and a separate agreement facilitated the movement of Russian food and fertilizer amid Western sanctions.
However, Russia has complained that restrictions on shipping and insurance have hampered its food and fertilizer exports.
Despite this, analysts and export data say Russia has been shipping record amounts of wheat and fertilizers.
The agreement was last renewed for 60 days in May, with Moscow also pushing back before finally accepting the extension.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused Ukraine of carrying out an attack on the bridge between Russia and Crimea, with the involvement of Britain and the United States.
Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made the assertions but did not provide evidence to support them.
“Today’s attack on the Crimean bridge was carried out by the Kyiv regime.”
“Decisions are made by Ukrainian officials and the military with the direct participation of American and British intelligence agencies and politicians.”