US State Department on Russia's Provocation with Turkish Ship: Unacceptable Escalation

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

The US Department of State has reacted to the Russian provocative actions in the Black Sea regarding the Turkish civilian vessel Sukru Okan, which was heading to the port of Izmail in Odesa Oblast, Ukraine.

Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson at the US Department of State, said during a briefing Russian statements that all vessels heading for Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea will be considered to be potential military cargo carriers are an "unacceptable escalation".

"Russia has publicly announced that all ships proceeding to Ukrainian ports in Black Sea waters will be considered potential – as potential carriers of military cargo. This is, in our view, an unacceptable escalation that again demonstrates Moscow’s responsibility for grain not reaching the places where it needs to go," Patel noted.

Patel added that the US will continue to monitor the situation in the Black Sea and also emphasised that Russia should rejoin the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The Russian Defence Ministry said that in the small hours of 13 August, a Russian ship reportedly opened "warning" fire on the Sukru Okan, a bulk carrier which was heading for the port of Izmail in Odesa Oblast, Ukraine, under the flag of Palau, then an inspection of the ship was allegedly conducted. The incident took place in the Black Sea. 

However, InformNapalm, an international intelligence community, said the Russians have lied that the inspection of the Sukru Okan cargo ship in the Black Sea was successful, and that warning shots were fired.

The Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry condemned Russian provocative action regarding the Turkish civilian vessel Sukru Okan.

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