Kremlin: Odessa missile strike will not affect grain export deal

Moscow and Kyiv agreed to ensure the safe export of grain from Odessa and two other Ukrainian cities. Russia's Kalibr missile attackon the port of Odessa will not harm the agreement, because the attack targeted military facilities. There is no threat to the export of grain under the agreement between the two countries, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"This is related to military infrastructure only. This is in no way related to the infrastructure that is used to fulfill the export grain agreement. Therefore, this can not affect in any way, should not affect the start of the shipment process,” Peskov told reporters.

Reuters and AFP reported on July 23 that missiles struck the port of Odessa on the morning of July 23. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken then blamed Russia for the attack and stated that it undermined both the efforts to deliver food and credibility of Russia's obligations under the deal.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that Russian officials, in a conversation with the Turkish Defence Ministry, denied Moscow's involvement in the strikes. The next day, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed the attacks on the port of Odessa. Kalibr missiles destroyed the military infrastructure of the port of Odessa, having sent a Ukrainian military boat to the address that the Kyiv regime likes so much, Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the strike destroyed a warehouse of American Harpoon missiles and a Ukrainian warship that was staying in the dock. The facilities of ship repairing plant of the Ukrainian Navy were destroyed as well.

Ukraine condemned the missile strike on the port of Odessa. President Volodymyr Zelensky called the incident "blatant Russian barbarism." The missiles that Russia fired at Odessa "destroyed the very possibility" about the need for dialogue with Russia, he said.

On July 22, Russia and Ukraine separately signed an agreement with Turkey, under the testimony of the UN, on the export of grain from three Ukrainian ports — Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny. The agreement provided for the export of grain along safe and cleared routes. It was agreed that warships would not have the right to approach them.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team, Editor: Dmitry Sudakov