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Bulk carrier hits mine in Black Sea, two injured

A Panama-flagged bulk carrier that was headed to a River Danube port to load grain has hit a mine in the Black Sea, the Ukrainian military said today.

It was the latest incident of a civilian vessel hitting an explosive in the Black Sea in what Kyiv says is stepped-up Russian attacks on shipping and port infrastructure.

“A Panama-flagged civilian vessel was blown up on an enemy sea mine in the Black Sea…The vessel lost its course andcontrol, and a fire broke out on the upper deck,” Ukraine’s southern military command said on Telegram.

One person was hospitalised, and another received medical help on board. Tugs were sent to the site, the military added.

It did not say on what day the incident happened.

Moscow has increased attacks on Ukraine’s portinfrastructure since mid-July, when it quit a UN-brokered dealthat allowed safe passage of Ukrainian grain shipments via the Black Sea.

Kyiv since has established an alternative route, which hugs the western shores of the Black Sea. It said Russian forces have been repeatedly dropping explosive devices in its vicinity.

US proposes G7 explore ways to confiscate $300bn in Russian assets

The United States has proposed that working groups from G7 countries explore ways to seize $300bn in frozen Russian assets, the Financial Times reported today.

The United States, backed by the UK, Japan and Canada, has proposed moving forward with preparatory work so that options would be ready for G7 leaders to consider at a potential meetingaround 24 February, according to the report.

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