Kyiv. Hours after Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement to resume grain exports from Odessa, Russian forces fired a missile at the Ukrainian port of Odessa in the Black Sea. Ukraine’s foreign ministry condemned the attack on Saturday, saying Russia’s move was “a mockery of Turkey and the United Nations” that negotiated a grain export deal. Ukraine’s military southern command said two Russian-caliber missiles struck the port and two other missiles were destroyed by Ukraine’s air defense forces. Information about how much damage was done in the missile attack was not given.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said, “Russia did not spend even 24 hours to break the promise made to the United Nations and Turkey under the Istanbul Agreement and launched a missile attack on the port of Odessa.” “If the promise is not kept, Russia will be fully responsible for the global food crisis,” he said. On the missile strike on the 150th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Nikolenko said it was a “mocking of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan, who negotiated the deal” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Guterres’s office issued a statement saying the United Nations “strongly condemns” the attacks. “On Friday, all parties made a commitment to securely transport Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products to global markets,” the statement said. These products are to help people struggling with the global food crisis and need to address the food crisis of millions of people around the world. Russia, Ukraine and Turkey should fully comply with this agreement.
During the signing of the agreement in Istanbul on Friday to resume grain exports, Guterres praised Ukraine’s opening of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny ports for commercial food exports. Also, it was said that this has raised a new hope. The deal would allow Ukraine to export millions of tons of grain and some of Russia’s grain and fertilizers, which have been stalled due to the war.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil. In addition to Odessa, Russia on Saturday fired missiles at an airfield and railway installation in central Ukraine, killing at least three people. Ukraine also fired rockets into the southern region occupied by Russia. 13 Russian missiles were fired at an airport and a railway installation in the Kirovohradska region in central Ukraine.
Governor Adria Railkovic said at least one personnel and two guards were killed in the attacks. The regional administration said 13 other people were injured in the attacks near the city of Kirovohrad. Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops fired rockets across the Dnieper River in the southern Kherson region occupied by Russian forces at the beginning of the attack and tried to disrupt logistics supplies to the Russian army.
FIRST PUBLISHED : July 23, 2022, 20:41 IST