The port of Odessa, essential for the export of Ukrainian cereals, was bombarded by Russian missile fire.
Russian strikes targeted the port of Odessa on Saturday. Ukraine thus accuses Vladimir Putin of having “spit in the face” of the UN and Turkey and of compromising the application of the agreement signed the day before on the resumption of grain exports blocked by war.
Without reacting directly, Moscow has denied any involvement in these strikes to Ankara.
The port of Odessa, where grain is processed for shipment. to be shipped, was bombed. We shot down two missiles, and two more missiles hit the territory of the port, where, obviously, there is grain, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force said.
A few people are injured, said the governor of the region, Maksym Marchenko, without specifying how many and referring to damaged port infrastructure.
The large port of Odessa is crucial for the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports.
With these strikes, the Russian President spat in the face of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep [Tayyip] Erdogan, who have worked hard to reach this agreement, commented the spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko.
President Volodymyr Zelensky then accused Moscow of systematically violating its commitments. This only proves one thing: no matter what Russia says and promises, it will find ways not to implement it.
Antonio Guterres has quant to him unequivocally condemned these attacks, stressing that the full implementation of the agreement is imperative.
“Hitting a crucial grain export target one day after the signing of the Istanbul Accords is particularly reprehensible and demonstrates once again Russia's total disregard for international law and commitments.
—Josep Borrell, Head of Foreign Affairs of the European Union
The head of British diplomacy for her part evoked a completely unjustified action. This shows that not a word of what Mr Putin says can be trusted, added Liz Truss.
Russia, however, denied to Turkey having been involved. The Russians told us that they had absolutely nothing to do with the attack and were looking into the matter very closely, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar assured.
Central Ukraine was not spared either with a resumption of Russian bombing on Saturday, which left three dead.
Thirteen Russian cruise missiles fired from the sea fell near the town of Kropyvnytskyi, in the Kirovograd region, announced its governor, Andriy Raikovych, who specified that railway infrastructure and a military airfield had been targeted.
Artillery fire also targeted Kharkiv, in the northeast, where a woman was injured, according to the Ukrainian presidency.
In Hungary, President Viktor Orban considers that only Russian-American talks can end the conflict, because Russia wants security guarantees that only Washington can provide.< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">Russia could benefit from difficulties facing Ukrainian grain exports amid reports of targeted attacks on grain infrastructure by Russian forces.
Ahead of the announcement of the strikes on Odessa, the African Union on Saturday welcomed the agreement on grain exports, hailing a welcome event for the continent, which faces an increased risk of famine.
The agreement should allow the export of 20 to 25 million tonnes of grain blocked in Ukraine.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine – two countries that supply 30% of world wheat exports in particular – has led to a spike in grain and oil prices, which hits hard the African continent, very dependent on the two belligerents for its supply.
This rise in prices has worsened the situation of countries already in the grip of a food crisis, in particular in the Horn of Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti), which is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years.
The price of wheat fell on Friday after the agreement, returning to its pre-war price on the American market (Chicago), while on the European market (Euronext ), it remained about 16% above the price before Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The signing of this fiercely negotiated text under the auspices of the United Nations and Ankara took place in Istanbul in the presence of Mr. Guterres and President Erdogan.
The conditions are met for its application in the coming days, assured shortly after the Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu.
Washington, which supports Ukraine, has weighed on Moscow responsibility for the success of the operation. It is now up to Russia to implement this agreement in a concrete way, warned American diplomacy.
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The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky
As of Friday evening, Ukraine was cautious.
It is now the UN's responsibility to ensure compliance with the agreement, Zelensky said, saying he expected provocations, attempts to discredit Ukrainian and international efforts.
The agreement is entirely in the interests of Ukraine, he nevertheless welcomed, adding that the Ukrainian military would continue to have 100% control of all access to ports, which Russia initially demanded to be demined.
The main measure is the creation of secure corridors to allow the movement in the Black Sea of merchant ships, which Moscow and kyiv undertake not to attack, explained a United Nations official.
It will be valid for 120 days, the time to get out the millions of tons accumulated in the silos of Ukraine as a new harvest approaches.
The negotiators, however, gave up on clearing the Black Sea of mines, mainly laid by the Ukrainians to protect their coasts.
As for the inspections of ships departing from and heading to the x27;Ukraine, demanded by Russia to prevent their use to transport weapons, they will take place in the ports of Istanbul.
Moscow has also obtained guarantees that western sanctions will not apply, either directly or indirectly, to russian fertilizer and grain exports its.