PRESIDENT Volodymyr Zelenskiy dismissed Vadym Prystaiko as Ukraine’s ambassador to Britain on Friday, days after the envoy publicly criticised the president.
A presidential order, which said Prystaiko had also been removed as Ukraine’s representative to the International Maritime Organisation, gave no reason for the dismissal.
Zelenskiy responded by saying Ukraine was always grateful to Britain, a staunch ally. He was also quoted by British media as saying Wallace could let him know how to express his gratitude or how “we could get up in the morning and express our words of gratitude to the minister.”
“I don’t believe that this sarcasm is healthy,” he said, adding that the Russians “have to know that we’re working together.”
Russia Pounds Ukraine’s Export Facilities
Meanwhile, Russia continued to pound Ukrainian food export facilities for a fourth day in a row on Friday and practised seizing ships in the Black Sea in an escalation of what Western leaders say is an attempt to wriggle out of sanctions by threatening a global food crisis.
“Unfortunately, the grain terminals of an agricultural enterprise in Odesa region were hit. The enemy destroyed 100 tons of peas and 20 tons of barley,” regional governor Oleh Kiper said on the Telegram messaging app.
Moscow has described the attacks as revenge for a Ukrainian strike on a Russian-built bridge to Crimea – the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula seized by Moscow in 2014. It accuses Ukraine of using the sea corridor to launch “terrorist attacks.”
Kyiv responded with a similar warning about ships headed to Russia. “Terrorist attacks are when Russian anti-ship missiles hit shopping malls, hospitals, and grain terminals,” tweeted Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential adviser.
The attacks on grain export infrastructure and anxiety over shipping drove prices of benchmark Chicago wheat futures towards their biggest weekly gain since the February 2022 invasion.
The U.N. Security Council was due to meet later over Russia’s exit from the grain deal, which aid groups say is vital to fend off hunger in poor countries.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, a sponsor of the deal, said he hoped talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin could revive it, warning its collapse would drive up prices, create hunger and potentially cause new waves of migration.
Moscow says it will not participate in the year-old grain deal without better terms for its own food and fertiliser sales.
Western leaders accuse Moscow of seeking to loosen sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine, which already exempt exports of Russian food. Russian grain has moved freely through the Black Sea to market throughout the conflict.
Wagner Near Poland Border