Following grain export agreement, Russia bombs Odessa port in southern Ukraine

Sami Hegazi
3 Min Read

Russian missiles hit infrastructure facilities in the Ukrainian port of Odessa on Saturday, the Ukrainian military said, a day after Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement to reopen ports on the Black Sea to resume grain exports.

Ukraine considered that Russia had delivered a “slap” to the UN and Turkey after the attack on the port of Odessa. Meanwhile, Ukraine accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “spitting in the face” of the United Nations and Turkey through his attack on the port of Odessa, stressing that Moscow will “bear responsibility” for the failure of the agreement on grain exports signed Friday in Istanbul.

The southern operational command of Ukraine wrote on Telegram:”the enemy attacked the commercial port of Odessa with Caliber cruise missiles, the air defense forces shot down two missiles, and two missiles hit the port infrastructure”.

These developments came less than 24 hours after Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN signed the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain in Istanbul.

Since the outbreak of the crisis in February this year, millions of tons of grain have piled up in Ukrainian ports because of the inability to export due to military conflicts, causing a global shortage of basic goods, which resulted in high prices.

Both Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s largest food exporters.

The grain export deal between Moscow and Kiev is the first between the two countries since the outbreak of the crisis.

The agreement includes allowing Ukrainian ships to export grain and transport it through the waters of the Black Sea, provided that Russian naval forces do not expose them, and that Turkish officials check the cargo to ensure that the agreement is not used to smuggle weapons.

For his part, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned Saturday’s rocket attacks on the Ukrainian port of Odessa, which is key to the implementation of the agreement on the resumption of grain exports, which was signed Friday in Istanbul.

“The secretary-general unequivocally condemns the strikes announced on Saturday on the Ukrainian port of Odessa,” a UN statement said, adding that “full implementation (of the agreement) by the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Turkey is imperative.”

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