Russian missile strikes hit the port of Odessa in southern Ukraine just a day after Ukraine and Russia agreed to a deal that would see vital grain exports from the region resume .
Serhii Bratchuk, spokesman for Odessa’s military administration, said two missiles hit port infrastructure and two were shot down by Ukrainian air defense.
At least six explosions were heard in Odessa, according to Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko.
It comes a day after Ukrainian and Russian ministers signed an agreement – brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul – to allow grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports aimed at easing the global food crisis triggered by the war.
“That’s all you need to know about the ‘deals’ with the Russians. Explosions in the seaport of #Odessa. A day after the signing of the agreement with #Turkey and the #UN on the re-export of #grains from #Ukraine under which #Russia undertook not to bombard the port”, tweeted the Ukrainian MP Solomiia Bobrovska.
Brachuk advised residents to stay in shelters as air alerts continue.
US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink has called the Russian missile strike on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa ‘outrageous’, saying the Kremlin continues to ‘arm’ food and must return accounts.
“That’s all you need to know about the deals with Russia,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas tweeted. EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Josep Borrell said the bloc “strongly condemns” the attack.
“Hitting a crucial grain export target one day after the signing of the Istanbul Accords is particularly reprehensible and again demonstrates Russia’s utter disregard for international law and commitments,” Borrell wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Friday’s deal promised to unblock Black Sea ports to allow the safe passage of grains and oilseeds – some of Ukraine’s most important exports.
Russia has so far blocked sea access to these ports, which means that millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain have not been exported to the many countries that depend on it.
“Today there is a lighthouse on the Black Sea. A glimmer of hope – a glimmer of possibility – a glimmer of relief – in a world that needs it more than ever,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the signing ceremony on Friday. , which was attended by Ukrainian and Russian ministers.