A Ukrainian tank fires in Chasiv Yar, Ukraine, on June 7, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)
MOSCOW/UNITED NATIONS - A "Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group" blew up the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline in Kharkov region on Monday night, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
The ministry in a statement called the explosion of the ammonia pipeline "a terrorist act," which has caused civilian victims.
"Currently, ammonia is bleeding from the damaged sections of the pipeline in the Ukrainian territory. There are no casualties among the Russian military personnel," the ministry added.
The Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline, running from the Russian city of Togliatti to the Ukrainian port of Odessa, is one of the world's longest pipelines for ammonia transportation
Several explosions were heard near the ammonia pipeline in Kharkov region's Kupyansk district, Russia's TASS news agency reported on Tuesday.
The facility, running from the Russian city of Togliatti to the Ukrainian port of Odessa, is one of the world's longest pipelines for ammonia transportation.
Also on Wednesday, a spokesman for the United Nations said the UN is continuing to engage with the parties on the export of ammonia from Russia.
"We're continuing to engage with the parties on the ammonia exports, regardless of what may have happened," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in response to a question on the impact of the sabotage.
"And I would just add that this is yet another reminder for the need of all parties involved in this conflict to respect international humanitarian law, especially as it relates to civilian infrastructure," he told a daily press briefing.
We're continuing to engage with the parties on the ammonia exports, regardless of what may have happened.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
The spokesman said he has seen the reports as well as the counterclaims as to what happened to the pipeline.
"I think any threat to this pipeline is indeed of concern, in addition to the harm they may present for civilians and the environment in the surrounding area - though we've seen public statements saying that there's been very little risk following what happened to the pipeline," he said.
He reiterated the importance of the resumption of Russian ammonia exports through the Odessa port under the framework of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and the broader importance of ammonia supplies in addressing food and security, especially in the developing world.
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