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HomeEconomicsRussian missiles hit Odesa after Moscow agrees grain export cope with Kyiv

Russian missiles hit Odesa after Moscow agrees grain export cope with Kyiv


Ukraine accused Russia of firing missiles at its key grain exporting port of Odesa on Saturday, a day after Moscow signed a deal permitting Kyiv to renew grain exports in a bid to alleviate the rising world meals disaster.

Two Kalibr cruise missiles hit Odesa’s port and two others have been shot down by Ukrainian air defences, based on Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for Ukraine’s southern army command.

Movies posted on social media confirmed a big plume of smoke billowing from the port. Oleksiy Honcharenko, a Ukrainian member of parliament, wrote on messaging app Telegram that at the least six explosions have been heard and an unspecified variety of folks have been wounded.

On Friday Russia’s defence minister signed a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey agreeing to let Kyiv export thousands and thousands of tonnes of grain from its Black Sea ports.

Russia’s navy has blockaded Ukraine’s industrial sea routes, launched missile strikes on its ports and grain storage infrastructure and attacked civilian grain transport ships since president Vladimir Putin ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Ukraine mentioned Saturday’s strikes violated Russia’s promise to not assault its grain export infrastructure and referred to as the viability of Friday’s deal into query.

Oleg Nikolenko, Ukraine’s overseas ministry spokesman, mentioned Russia would “bear full duty for the deepening of the worldwide meals disaster” if it didn’t uphold its guarantees to not assault the port. He accused Putin of “spit[ting] within the face” of UN secretary-general António Guterres and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who brokered the talks.

“Yesterday grain export by sea was agreed, and at the moment the Russians are hitting Odesa port. That’s the Russian diplomatic dichotomy,” Andriy Yermak, head of president Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s administration, wrote on Twitter.

Zelenskyy informed a visiting US congressional delegation that the assault “proves just one factor: it doesn’t matter what Russia says and guarantees, it is going to discover methods to not implement it”, based on his web site.

The deal, which Guterres hailed as a “beacon of hope”, was the primary main settlement struck between the 2 sides within the five-month battle.

The blockade has choked off a vital financial lifeline for Ukraine and left an estimated 22mn tonnes of wheat, corn and different grains stranded in silos, with devastating results on world meals costs and poverty ranges.

As many as 47mn folks, notably in sub-Saharan Africa, are liable to acute starvation due to the battle, based on the World Meals Programme.

Guterres’ workplace issued a press release saying he “unequivocally condemns” the strikes, with out instantly blaming Russia.

“Yesterday, all events made clear commitments on the worldwide stage to make sure the protected motion of Ukrainian grain and associated merchandise to world markets,” the assertion mentioned.

“These merchandise are desperately wanted to deal with the worldwide meals disaster and ease the struggling of thousands and thousands of individuals in want across the globe. Full implementation by the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Turkey is crucial.”

Hulusi Akar, Turkey’s defence minister, mentioned his Ukrainian counterpart knowledgeable him that one Russian missile had hit a grain silo on the port however that cargo loading services have been unaffected and actions on the port continued. He additionally mentioned that Russian officers had denied to him that that they had something to do with the assault.

“The truth that this incident occurred proper after the settlement we made yesterday relating to the grain cargo has actually nervous us, and we’re disturbed by this. Nevertheless, we proceed to fulfil our tasks within the settlement,” Akar informed the state information company Anadolu.

Akar added that Russian, Ukrainian and UN representatives have already begun to work collectively at a joint co-ordination centre in Turkey and he remained hopeful that grain shipments would begin shortly.

Billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich, who bought Chelsea Soccer Membership in Might after the UK and EU sanctioned him, attended the signing ceremony and performed a key function within the deal, based on three folks accustomed to the matter.

Abramovich helped facilitate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine with Putin’s blessing earlier than they collapsed in April.

He visited Kyiv a number of instances, the place he met Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and has since performed a task brokering prisoner exchanges and opening evacuation routes for civilians, based on folks accustomed to the matter.

“He was key to all of it. He’s one of many solely folks near Putin to whom the Ukrainians speak,” one of many folks mentioned. A Ukrainian official mentioned Abramovich’s function had grow to be extra distinguished for the reason that peace talks stalled within the spring.

“One way or the other he’s a part of the circle coping with delicate points between Ukraine and Russia,” the official mentioned. “He’s on the checklist of trusted individuals who might be in any talks.”

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, denied that Abramovich had performed a vital function within the talks.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, officers within the port metropolis of Mykolayiv reported being hit by six Russian projectiles on Saturday. None of them hit port infrastructure and its services are usually not a part of the settlement that was brokered in Turkey.

The Kremlin, Turkey’s overseas ministry, and a spokesperson for Abramovich didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Further reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley

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