Russia: Missile Attack on Odesa will Not Affect Grain Deal
The Russian missile attack on Saturday will not affect the grain deal concluded with Ukraine, according to Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said the attack was aimed at military targets and is “in no way connected” to the infrastructure used for grain exports. “This should and will not affect the departing ships.”
The missiles hit the port of Odesa on Saturday, shortly after Russia and Ukraine reached an agreement with Turkey and the United Nations to resume grain exports through the Black Sea. According to Ukraine, the port’s infrastructure has been damaged, and people have been injured in the attack. The art museum of Odessa is also said to have been hit by projectiles. In addition, Moscow previously said it had knocked out a Ukrainian navy patrol boat through a precision bombardment.
The deal on all the grain that Ukraine could not leave in recent months came after long negotiations. Much grain could still be exported via the port of Odesa. After the Russian missile attack, Western leaders wondered what the deal with Russia was worth. UN chief António Guterres, among others, strongly condemned the bombing.
According to Dutch farmer Kees Huizinga, who works in Ukraine, the ships could now sail quickly if Russia adheres to the agreement. The Ukrainian agriculture minister is said to have said at a meeting with farmers, where Huizinga was present, that preparations for the deal have already been started and that, for example, sea mines have been mapped.