Ukraine’s president condemned Russia’s “barbarism” following a strike on Odessa, as he said the Kremlin cannot be trusted to observe a grain exportation deal.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hit out after Saturday’s attack by Moscow, in wake of an agreement facilitated by Turkey for Kyiv to resume exports from Black Sea ports like Odessa.
The deal signed by Moscow and Kyiv on Friday was hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough that would help curb soaring global food prices by restoring Ukrainian grain shipments to pre-war levels of 5 million tonnes a month, according to Reuters.
Ukraine’s military, quoted by broadcaster Suspilne, said Russian missiles did not hit the port’s grain storage area or cause significant damage.
Zelenskiy’s economic advisor, Oleh Ustenko, told Ukrainian television the strike “indicates that it will definitely not work like that”. Meanwhile, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said in a Facebook post. “We continue technical preparations for the launch of exports of agricultural products from our ports.”
Zelensky said Ukraine could export 60 million tonnes of grain over the next nine months, but it would take up to 24 months if its ports’ operations were disrupted.
The war is now into its sixth month.