Russia warns Arab countries against smuggling weapons to Ukraine

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Arab countries not to use grain shipments as a guise to smuggle weapons into Ukraine on Monday.

Lavrov made the comments during a visit to Egypt, one of the world’s top grain importers and a leading customer of grain from Ukraine. Russia’s ongoing invasion has severely limited shipments of Ukrainian grain to Africa and the Middle East, but a deal between the two countries allowed for the shipments to resume last week.

Lavrov warned during a meeting with the Arab League in Cairo that every ship sent to pick up grain from Ukraine would first be inspected to ensure they were not carrying weapons, however, according to Reuters.

The U.S. and Ukraine have questioned Russia’s commitment to allowing the grain trade to persist, however.

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Russia on Sunday claimed responsibility for a missile strike on the port city of Odesa that came just one day after officials agreed to allow Ukraine to export grain from the city.

Russian officials say the strike only hit Ukrainian military targets, including a warship. Ukraine has not released details about what targets were hit nor how many casualties they sustained.

Grain storage facilities were not affected by the attack, however, a Ukrainian spokeswoman told The Washington Post.

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