A Russian missile strike hit the southern Ukrainian port of Odessa a day after Ukraine and Russia reached an agreement that will allow the resumption of vital food exports from the region.
Two missiles hit the port’s infrastructure, and two were shot down by Ukraine’s air defenses, said Serhii Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odessa junta.
At least six explosions were heard in Odessa, according to Ukrainian parliament member Oleksi Goncharenko.
A day earlier, Ukrainian and Russian ministers signed an agreement — brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul — to allow grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, aimed at easing the war-induced global food crisis.
“That’s all you need to know about dealing with Russia,” added Estonian Prime Minister Kayakaras on Twitter. The EU’s top foreign affairs representative, Jose Puborrell, said the bloc “strongly condemns” the attack.
“The attack on a target critical to food exports the day after the Istanbul Agreement was signed is particularly reprehensible, showing once again Russia’s complete disregard for international law and commitments,” Borrell tweeted on Saturday.
“Russia agreed to some deal on grain exports, but immediately attacked it – showing that they want to continue to threaten world food security.”
“There will be new events [Putin] Odessa will definitely be attacked, the world’s only answer to this is to supply Ukraine with weapons – and finally to Ukraine with long-range missiles, fighter jets. This is the only answer to Putin’s aggression and the restoration of international order,” he said.
Friday’s deal promised to lift the blockade of Black Sea ports to allow the safe passage of grain and oilseeds – one of Ukraine’s most important exports.
Russia has so far blocked sea access to these ports, meaning millions of tons of Ukrainian grain have not been exported to many of the countries that depend on it.
“Today, there is a lighthouse on the Black Sea. It is hope in a world that needs it more than ever,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Friday at a signing ceremony attended by Ukrainian and Russian ministers Beacon – Beacon of Possibilities – Beacon of Relief.
But Saturday’s attack sparked outrage and concerns about the future of the deal.
“This is all you have to know about the ‘agreement’ with the Russians. Blast in #Odesa seaport. #Ukraine’s #grain exports again #Russia promises no guns a day after signing deal with #Turkey and #UN Boom port,” Ukrainian parliament member Solomiia Bobrovska wrote on Twitter.
As the air alert continued, Blachuk advised residents to stay in shelters.
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brinker called Russia’s missile attack on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa “heinous” and said the Kremlin’s continued “weaponization” of food must be held accountable.
Turkish Defense Minister Hurus Akar said Saturday that Russia’s claim was “unrelated” to the attack.
“The Russians somehow told us they had nothing to do with the attack. They monitored the situation very closely and in detail,” Akar said in a video statement.
“We are really concerned about an incident like this after we signed the grain shipping agreement. We are also disturbed. But we continue to live up to our responsibilities to this agreement and we also said at the meeting that we support the parties here calmly and Be patient and continue to cooperate,” Akar, who represented Turkey when the food deal was signed in Istanbul, said on Friday.
Akar also said that Turkey received information about the airstrike from Ukraine, “then we had a phone call with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. We’ve reached out to them to talk.”
“They stated that one of the missiles hit a silo there and the other landed in an area near the silo, but the important thing is that there is no problem with the loading capacity and capacity of the terminal and that activities there can continue,” he said. Say.