Russia denied, on Saturday, the bombing of the Ukrainian port of Odessa. And after harsh international criticism, Russia admitted, on Sunday, its responsibility for the bombing. The attack came just a day after the Ukrainian grain export agreement was signed in Istanbul.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the missile attacks on the port of Odessa as “blatant Russian brutality”. The head of state said in a video message published on Saturday evening that the strikes were another reason to give Ukraine such weapons “necessary for our victory”.
Zelensky said that Russia exposed itself politically with the missile attacks. “If someone in the world said earlier that it was necessary to enter into a dialogue with Russia to reach ceasefire agreements without liberating our lands from the occupiers, today’s missiles destroyed the possibility of such statements,” he said. The attack was condemned internationally.
Ensure that ships are not fired upon
Russia pledged, Friday, in the agreement to allow ships destined for export to use a sea lane and not to fire at them. Therefore, the three ports involved should not be attacked. Among other things, it concerns the export of millions of tons of grain. The agreement, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, provides for export control from a control center in Istanbul.
The US government condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms. On Saturday (local time), US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that just one day after the agreement to export Ukraine’s grain through the Black Sea, Russia has broken its commitments. “This attack raises serious doubts about the credibility of Russia’s commitment to yesterday’s agreement,” he added.
Blinken said the bombing was undermining the work of the United Nations, Turkey and Ukraine to get basic food products to global markets. Russia bears responsibility for the exacerbation of the global food crisis. Moscow agreed to the grain export agreement and now has a duty to implement it in full.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday that Russia had nothing to do with the attack and wanted to investigate the incident.
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