Ukraine says Russian missiles hit Odesa, dealing blow to grain export deal


Article content

KYIV — Russian missiles hit infrastructure in Odesa in southern Ukraine on Saturday, the Ukrainian military said, dealing a blow to a deal signed on Friday to unblock grain exports from Black Sea ports.

The landmark deal signed by Moscow and Kyiv on Friday is seen as crucial to reining in global food prices and would allow certain exports to be shipped from Black Sea ports, including the hub of Odesa.

“The enemy attacked the Odesa sea trade port with Kalibr cruise missiles,” Ukraine’s Operational Command South wrote on the Telegram messaging app. Two missiles hit infrastructure at the port, while another two were shot down by air defense forces, it said.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Ukraine’s foreign ministry called on the United Nations and Turkey, which mediated Friday’s deal, to ensure that Russia fulfills its commitments and allows free passage in the grain corridor.

Russia’s defense ministry did not immediately reply to a Reuters’ request for comment.

A blockade of Ukrainian ports by Russia’s Black Sea fleet since Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion of its neighbor has trapped tens of millions of tonnes of grain and stranded many ships. This has worsened global supply chain bottlenecks and, along with Western sanctions on Russia, stoked food and energy price inflation.

Friday’s export deal seeks to avert famine among tens of millions of people in poorer nations by injecting more wheat, sunflower oil, fertilizer and other products into world markets including for humanitarian needs, partly at lower prices.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Senior U.N. officials, briefing reporters on Friday, said the deal was expected to be fully operational in a few weeks and would restore grain shipments from the three reopened ports to pre-war levels of 5 million tonnes a month.

Under the deal, Ukrainian officials would guide ships through safe channels across mined waters to three ports, including Odesa, where they would be loaded with grain.

Moscow has denied responsibility for the crisis, blaming Western sanctions for slowing its own food and fertilizer exports and Ukraine for mining the approaches to its Black Sea ports.

(Reporting by Reuters bureaus Writing by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen Editing by Frances Kerry)

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



Source link

Comments are closed.