The suspension of the Black Sea grain deal has raised fears of direct conflict between Western and Russian forces.
“The fear is that NATO will decide it needs to escort the grain ships,” former North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis said on Twitter at 17:00 local time.
“That could lead to a direct confrontation between the Black Sea Fleet and NATO warships if Russia acts recklessly,” he added.
Stavridis is a national security expert, a retired four-star admiral who served 37 years in the U.S. Navy.
Russia announced earlier in the day that it was terminating the Black Sea Grain Agreement, 카지노사이트넷 which was brokered by the United Nations and Turkiye last July.
“NATO could escort ships carrying grain and fertilizer to and from Ukrainian ports for humanitarian relief,” Stavridis told US Newsweek.
“In that case, NATO ships would be in direct confrontation with the Russian navy,” he said, “and the outcome would be unpredictable and very dangerous, but it would be the right thing to do.”
He also warned that it would be a grave mistake for NATO to allow Russia to effectively blockade Ukraine with the end of the Black Sea Grain Agreement.
“That would destroy the Ukrainian economy and give Russia a de facto veto over the operation of its ships on the high seas,” Admiral Stavridis said.