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António Guterres who is the United Nations Secretary-General, has openly condemned the missile strike which had been used to destroy the Ukrainian port of Odessa by Russian forces, which came one day after Kiev and Moscow had struck a deal to unblock grain exports.
The Ukrainian military had also revealed that two Russian missiles were intercepted by air defences on Saturday and two others hit the commercial port on the Black Sea. The United Nations and Turkey had helped broker the agreement amid worries about growing global food insecurity.
“The secretary general unequivocally condemns reported strikes today in the Ukrainian port of Odessa,” his deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement.
“Yesterday, all parties made clear commitments on the global stage to ensure the safe movement of Ukrainian grain and related products to global markets.
“These products are desperately needed to address the global food crisis and ease the suffering of millions of people in need around the globe.
“Full implementation by the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Turkey is imperative,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, top EU foreign affairs envoy Josep Borrell wrote on Twitter: “EU strongly condemns Russian missile strike on Odessa’s seaport.
“Striking a target crucial for grain export a day after the signature of Istanbul agreements is particularly reprehensible and again demonstrates Russia’s total disregard for international law and commitments.”
In the agreement, Russia pledged to allow ships to sail through a designated sea corridor and not to fire on them.
The ports involved were also not to be attacked.
In another report, the Ukrainian government has sent out strong warnings to Russia against provocations even as the ongoing war rages on.
This is as the two countries signed a deal with the United Nations and Turkey on Friday to facilitate the export of grain.
The deal signed in Istanbul and mediated by Turkey and the UN would allow 5 million tonnes of grain exports per month from three Ukrainian ports, a senior UN official told CNN.
Ships carrying grains will now be able to navigate through a safe corridor in the Black Sea and then pass through the Bosphorus to reach global markets.
The vessels will be monitored by a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), which will be established immediately in Istanbul and include representatives from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the UN.