Kathmandu: Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa just hours after Moscow and Kyiv signed deals to allow grain exports to resume from there.
As reported by the News Agency, AP, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry denounced Saturday’s airstrikes as a “spit in the face” to Turkey and the United Nations, which brokered the agreements.
Two Russian Kalibr cruise missiles hit the port’s infrastructure and Ukrainian air defenses brought down two others.
“The invaders can no longer deceive anyone,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.
Nikolenko described the missile strike on the 150th day of Russia’s war in Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “spit in the face of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who made great efforts to reach agreement.”
It was not clear how Saturday’s Russian airstrikes would affect the plan to resume shipping Ukrainian grain by sea in safe corridors out of three Ukrainian Black Sea ports: Odesa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny.
Ukraine and Russia signed identical deals Friday with the U.N. and Turkey in Istanbul backing the plan, which Guterres hailed as “a beacon of hope” for a world in which food prices are rising rapidly.
The agreements sought to clear the way for the shipment of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain and some Russian exports of grain and fertilizer that have been blocked by the war.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but Russia’s invasion and naval blockade of its ports halted shipments.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press showed the deals called for the creation of a U.N.-led joint coordination center in Istanbul where officials from Ukraine, Russia and Turkey would oversee the scheduling and searches of cargo ships.
(News Source: Associated Press)