Russia insists it will view all ships heading across the Black Sea to Ukraine as possibly carrying military equipment.

In a statement posted on Telegram, Russia’s Defence Ministry said from midnight Moscow time tomorrow (20 July) “all ships en route to Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea will be considered as potential carriers of military cargo”.

The statement continued: “Accordingly, the flag countries of such vessels will be considered involved in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of the Kyiv regime.”

Wheat futures in Chicago jumped, up 8.2% on the day at the time of writing.

Earlier today, Ukraine’s President Zelenskiy said Kyiv was weighing up how to set up a temporary shipping lane through after Moscow pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal on Monday. Russia has attacked the Black Sea port of Odesa on two days since the end of agreement.

Reuters reported Kyiv had written to the UN’s shipping agency about its plans “to establish on a temporary basis a recommended maritime route”.

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Meanwhile, Hungary said today it and four other member states would ask the EU to extend their deal to restrict grain imports from Ukraine.

The EU’s agreement with Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, first struck in May and already extended once, is set to elapse on 15 September.

The original deal was done after the five EU members banned imports of grain and selected other foodstuffs from Ukraine to protect prices for domestic farmers.

The countries were unhappy farmers were having to compete with cheap imports coming in from neighbouring Ukraine.

The EU had described the unilateral moves as unacceptable and convened talks with the five countries and Ukraine.

Four products – wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed – are at the centre of the agreement.

The imports of the four foodstuffs from Ukraine can continue to transit through the country’s five concerned neighbours and enter other EU states.

At a press conference in Warsaw today, Hungary’s minister of agriculture, István Nagy, said the 15 September deadline was “unacceptable” for each of the five countries.

According to Hungary’s state-run news agency MTI, Nagy said if the EU does not extend the deadline until at least 21 December, Budapest would “protect Hungarian farmers with all its means”.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki added Warsaw would not open its borders for Ukrainian grain on 15 September and only allow the transit of goods, MTI reported.