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A Russian warship opened fire on a cargo vessel travelling to the Ukrainian port of Izmail, the Kremlin has said.

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"In order to force the ship to stop, warning shots were fired with light automatic weapons from a Russian warship," the ministry said on Telegram.

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According to Moscow, the captain of the Palau-flagged vessel, the Sukru Okan, had not responded to an order to stop for "an inspection concerning the transport of prohibited goods".

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The ship detected flying under the flag of Palau at around 6:40am Moscow time.

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A helicopter with Russian military personnel on board then took off to inspect the ship, which was allowed to continue its journey to the Ukrainian port, according to the same source. 

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The incident comes after the collapse of a deal that ensured exports of Ukrainian grain could continue.

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The river port of Izmail, in the Odessa region, has become one of the main exit routes for Ukrainian agricultural products since Moscow terminated the agreement on grain exports.

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The number of attacks in the Black Sea has increased on both sides and the Russian army has struck Odessa, a major port in southern Ukraine, as well as the river ports of Izmaïl and Reni on several occasions, attacks denounced by Kiev as a means of hindering its exports.

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Ukraine hit the Russian port of Novorossiysk and several Russian ships in the Black Sea, including an oil tanker

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Russia Vows Retaliation After Missiles Target Key Bridge.

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