Russia launched an “outrageous” airstrike on Ukraine’s port city of Odessa, hours after it signed a deal to secure the safe passage of grain from the country.
Kalibr cruise missiles rained down on the Black Sea dock just before noon local time, footage of residents showed.
Ukraine’s air defense technology intercepted two rockets mid-air, but failed to hit the other two targets.
Brutal air strikes poured cold water on him ‘Landmark’ deal to unblock critical grain exports stuck at three ports, including Odessa Signed yesterday in Istanbul,
US Ambassador to Kyiv Bridget Brink called the attack “outrageous”.
Footage recorded by locals in Odessa today shows the port on fire after being hit by Russian Kalibr missiles. Two rockets are believed to have hit the target in the Black Sea export capital
She wrote on Twitter: ‘Russia attacked the port city of Odessa less than 24 hours after signing an agreement to allow shipment of agricultural exports.
‘The Kremlin continues to weaponize food. Russia will have to account.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry today urged the United Nations to implement the accord following the attacks.
Putin’s blockade, since the invasion began on February 24, has trapped tens of millions of tons of grain bound for the Middle East and Africa.
Yesterday’s deal sought to avoid famine among millions of people in poor countries by injecting wheat, sunflower oil and fertilizer into world markets, partly at lower prices, for humanitarian needs.
Under the plan, Ukrainian officials would guide ships through secure channels in mined waters to three ports, where they would be loaded with grain.
Ukrainian officials were universally stunned at the immediately apparent breach of the deal
Moscow has denied responsibility for the crisis, blaming Ukraine for sanctions slowing its own food and fertilizer exports and mining for its Black Sea ports.
Briefing reporters on Friday, senior UN officials said the deal is expected to be fully operational in a few weeks and will allow grain shipments from the three reopened ports to reach a pre-war level of 5 million tonnes per month. but will restore.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the deal as ‘an agreement for the world’, although acknowledged that it ‘did not come easy … it has been a long road’.
A truck is shown waiting at the Odessa grain terminal during harvesting early this morning
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, whose country provided a neutral basis for signing the treaty, praised him for his role in organizing the arrangement.
“We are proud to be instrumental in an initiative that will play a major role in solving the global food crisis that has been on the agenda for a long time,” he added.
He boldly claimed: ‘The war will end at the negotiating table. This is a turning point.
The blockade on Ukrainian ports by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has worsened global supply chain disruptions and, along with Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, has prevented high inflation in food and energy prices as Russian forces enter Ukraine on February 24. had entered.
Grain fields burned on the outskirts of Kurakhov near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Thursday
Guterres said the agreement opens the way for significant volumes of commercial food exports from three major Ukrainian ports – Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny – and explained that the United Nations would establish a coordination center to oversee the implementation of the agreement.
British foreign secretary and prime ministerial candidate Liz Truss congratulated Turkey and the United Nations for mediating the deal, but stressed it has a responsibility to honor its promises with Russia.
“Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine means that some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are at risk of having nothing to eat,” Truss said in a statement.
‘This agreement must now be implemented, and we will be watching to make sure that Russia’s actions are in line with its words.’
Turkish President Erdogan, right, and UN Secretary-General Guterres, left, sit as Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu shakes hands with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar at Dolmabas Palace in Istanbul
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) arrive for the signing ceremony of an initiative on the safe transportation of grain and food items from Ukrainian ports in Istanbul.
The United States also welcomed the deal and said it was focused on holding Russia accountable for implementing it.
Mr Guterres said overseeing the deal was one of the most important feats of his career, but acknowledged that nothing could be done to punish Russia if it went back on the terms of the deal.
The UN chief said a breach of the agreement would be an “absolutely unacceptable scandal and the entire international community would react very strongly.”
Ukraine’s infrastructure minister Alexander Kubrakov attends the signing ceremony in Istanbul
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who personally signed the agreement, said Moscow would “not take advantage” of de-mining and opening up of Ukrainian ports.
“Russia has fulfilled the obligations clearly outlined in this document,” Shoigu said on Rossiya-24 state TV channel after the signing ceremony in Istanbul.
‘We will not take advantage of the fact that the ports will be cleaned and opened.
‘We have made this commitment.’
Turkey, a NATO member that has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, controls the straits leading to the Black Sea and acts as an intermediary on grain.
Russian-Israeli oligarch Roman Abramovich, who is also serving as a negotiator and ambassador, was pictured in attendance at yesterday’s signing.
Guy Platten, secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), told reporters that it remains to be seen how exports will resume, given that the Ukrainian coast is littered with mines.
‘This is a long-needed breakthrough for the millions of people who depend on the safe passage of grain to survive. But although this is an important step, a lot of work remains to be done.”
“Ensuring the safety of the crew will be critical if we are to move this agreement forward quickly.” Questions remain on how the ships will navigate the heavily mined waters, and how we can effectively maneuver ships in the region to meet the suggested time frame.’