The pipeline connected the Russian city of Togliatti with the Ukrainian port of Odessa and had been disabled since the start of the war. For its part, kyiv accuses Moscow of being responsible for the explosion.
Russia accused Ukraine on Wednesday of having blown up a pipeline linking the Russian city of Togliatti to the Ukrainian port of Odessa, essential for the export of ammonia and fertilizers, deactivated since February 2022, but which Moscow hoped restart.
“A Ukrainian sabotage group blew up the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline”, about 2,400 km long, the longest in the world, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
This explosion took place Monday evening near Massioutovka, a small village controlled by Russian forces in the Kharkiv region (north-eastern Ukraine), according to the same source. “Several civilians were injured. They were given all the necessary medical assistance,” the statement said.
2.5 tons of ammonia exported per year before the war
The pipeline allowed Russia to export annually more than 2.5 million tonnes of ammonia – a key component of mineral fertilizers – notably to the European Union.
It was commissioned to export the products of the Togliatti Chemical Enterprise, Russia’s largest ammonia producer and one of the largest in the world. Transit through this pipeline, built in the late 1970s, was suspended with the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine in February 2022.
On the Ukrainian side, the head of the military administration of the Kharkiv region, Oleg Sinegoubov, accused Russia on Tuesday of being responsible for the destruction of the pipeline. “People’s lives and health are not currently in danger,” he said.
The resumption of operation demanded by Moscow
The resumption of the functioning of the infrastructure, demanded by Moscow, is part of the negotiations, with the participation of the UN, on the cereal agreement which has allowed the export of millions of tonnes of Ukrainian cereals.
“This ammonia pipeline was crucial to ensuring food security in the world,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a briefing on Wednesday.
She accused Ukraine of having “dealed a severe blow to the efforts of the UN in the fight against hunger”.
“The only one who had no interest in the ammonia pipeline resuming its work was the kyiv regime,” said Maria Zakharova. The grain agreement was signed on July 22, 2022 by the UN, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey.
This crucial agreement for the world food supply, which allowed the export of Ukrainian cereals via the Black Sea, was renewed in May for two months, until July 17, while Moscow is demanding guarantees on another agreement concerning its exports, particularly of fertilizers.
Source: BFM TV