After missiles struck the port of Odesa, a historic agreement to restore Ukraine’s grain exports is in jeopardy.
Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s minister of infrastructure, stated that technical preparations for shipments were still being made despite the apparent breach.
But according to President Volodymyr Zelensky, the strike demonstrated that Russia would find a way to renege on the agreement.
In the agreement signed on Friday, Russia promised not to attack ports while grain shipments were in motion.
Two Kalibr missiles struck the port, according to a statement on social media from the southern command center of the Ukrainian military, while two more were shot down by air defense systems.
It further added that the strike, which has been roundly denounced, did not seriously harm anything.
Officials from Russia, according to the Turkish authorities, who mediated the agreement, denied liability.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said, “In our contact with Russia, the Russians told us that they had absolutely nothing to do with this attack and that they were examining the issue very closely and in detail,”
A deal allowing the transfer of millions of tonnes of grain stranded in Ukraine was reached by representatives from Kyiv and Moscow on Friday.
The UN lauded the accord as a “beacon of hope” following months of conflict.
The agreement, which took two months to finalize, will endure for 120 days, and a coordination and monitoring center with workers from the UN, Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine will be set up in Istanbul. If both parties consent, it may be renewed.