By Ros Krasny
Jul 23, 2022 (Bloomberg) –Condemnation was swift after Russia struck Odesa’s port with cruise missiles, a day after officials from Russia and Ukraine signed parallel agreements with Turkey and the United Nations to allow the safe transit of millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain through the key Black Sea port.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine has about $10 billion in grain, including 20 million tonnes from last year’s harvest, available to export. Ukraine’s president rejected any cease-fire that would allow Moscow to keep territories seized since February.
The Pentagon is looking into the feasibility of providing fighter jets to Ukraine, a move previously seen as off-limits for fears Ukraine would expand the conflict into Russian territory.
US lawmakers led by Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, met in Kyiv with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Ukraine’s leader briefed them on Saturday’s Russian missile attack on Odesa, hours after Moscow signed a deal to unblock Ukrainian grain exports.
“This proves only one thing: no matter what Russia says and promises, it will find ways not to implement it,” Zelenskiy said. “Geopolitically, with weapons, bloodily, or not, it has several vectors, as it always acts.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “unequivocally condemns” the reported strikes today in the Ukrainian port of Odesa, a spokesman said.
“Yesterday, all parties made clear commitments on the global stage to ensure the safe movement of Ukrainian grain and related products to global markets,” Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Guterres, said in a statement. “Full implementation by the Russian federation, Ukraine and Turkey is imperative.”
Bridget Brink, the US ambassador to Ukraine, said Russian “must be held to account.”
Russia attacked the Odesa sea port on Saturday, less than 24 hours after signing an agreement aimed at restarting Ukrainian grain exports from Odesa and two other Black Sea locations.
Two Kalibr missiles hit the port’s infrastructure and two were shot down by Ukraine’s air defenses, Serhiy Bratchuk, adviser to the head of the Odesa regional military administration, said on Telegram.
© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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