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Russia to inspect ships in Black Sea if necessary: MFA

Russia wants ships in the Black Sea to be inspected to make sure they are not being used to carry weapons, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told a briefing on Friday. Speaking about the statement of the Russian Ministry of Defense that Moscow will consider all ships that go to Ukrainian ports along the Black Sea as carriers of military cargo, Vershinin said: “What is meant there is that we must make sure of this, we must check if a ship is carrying something bad.” “This means an inquiry, an inspection, if necessary, to make sure whether this is true or not,” the deputy minister stressed. Vershinin called this approach “completely logical, especially after the attacks that took place.” “Now there is no maritime humanitarian corridor; there are already zones of increased military danger,” he said. On Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that effective at midnight Moscow time on July 20, Russia, in connection with the termination of the grain deal, will consider all ships destined for Ukrainian ports traversing the Black Sea to be carriers of military cargo. The Defense Ministry clarified that those countries under whose flags such vessels are sailing will be deemed to be involved in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of Kiev. The ministry also reported that a number of sea areas in the northwestern and southeastern parts of the international waters of the Black Sea have been declared temporarily dangerous for navigation.

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