Ukraine to continue preparations for grain exports despite Russian missile attack on Odesa sea port

24 July, 11:24 AM
The Ministry of Infrastructure is readying itself for the launch of agricultural product export from Ukrainian ports (Photo:Oleksandr Kubrakov / Facebook)

The Ministry of Infrastructure is readying itself for the launch of agricultural product export from Ukrainian ports (Photo:Oleksandr Kubrakov / Facebook)

Ukraine will continue preparations to export grain through the Black Sea despite a Russian missile strike at an Odesa sea port on July 23, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said in a Facebook post.

"Today, Russia launched a missile strike at the territory of Odesa sea port, thereby once again showing the world its true intentions," he said.

"In recent months, missile strikes on infrastructure facilities have become the enemy's second, and sometimes even first, target. Every day, dozens of missiles are directed at railways, bridges, oil storage facilities, ports. Railroad, road and port workers, like the entire country, work in conditions of military aggression every day. And none of us plans to stop, because this is exactly what the invader wants, to destroy the infrastructure, destroy the economy, thereby weakening the Army."

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The minister reiterated that an agreement on the safe export of Ukrainian grain had been signed in Istanbul the day before.

"We do not trust Russia, but we trust our partners and allies, that is why the Initiative on the safe transportation of grain and food products from Ukrainian ports was signed with the UN and Turkey, not with Russia," Kubrakov said.

"This document was not a gesture of 'good will,' but the result of the work of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which liberated Zmiinyi (Snake) Island. Which, in turn, is made possible by the support of our allies who provide us with modern and effective weapons to defend the coastline. The document was signed on Ukrainian terms – no Russians in the territorial waters of Ukraine, no concessions regarding sanctions."

The official said that the UN and Ukrainian allies and partners hope that the Istanbul initiative will save not only the economy of Ukraine, but also millions of people from hunger, and billions from impoverishment.

He stressed that "just as our railway continues to run, and truck drivers deliver the necessary food, medicines and weapons to firing positions, we will not back down from our goal of unblocking sea ports."

Russia attacked Odesa sea port with Kalibr missiles on July 23, two of which hit infrastructure objects. Another two missiles were shot down by air defense.

Later, the Ukrainian military’s Operational Command South reported that the Russian missile had not hit the granary at Odesa sea port.

At the same time, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Oleg Nikolenko, said that Russia's missile attack on the sea port of Odesa was Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's "spit in the face" of UN Secretary General António Guterres and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

According to Nikolenko, "it took less than 24 hours for the Russian Federation to launch a missile attack on the port of Odesa to undermine the agreements and break the promises it made to the UN and Turkey in the document signed yesterday in Istanbul."

Ukraine signed an agreement on unblocking the export of Ukrainian grain with Turkey and the United Nations on July 22. Russia signed a similar agreement with the United Nations and Turkey.

The agreement concerns exports from the Ukrainian sea ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi. Control over the ports will remain with the Ukrainian side, and no ships, except those that will ensure the export of grain and related products, will be able to enter the ports.

Inspection teams will be set up in Turkey with representatives from all parties to inspect cargo and personnel. The inspection will be carried out only in the harbors, at the entrance and exit from the Turkish Straits.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the movement of vessels to Ukrainian sea ports would be resumed in the coming days.

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